Broncos Athletics

Soccer Programs Favored to Win WCC Championships

Soccer Programs Favored to Win WCC Championships

July 28, 2004

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's and women's soccer programs have been picked as favorites to win their respective West Coast Conference championships, according to preseason polls selected by the league's coaches. The Bronco women, who have captured three straight league titles and seven overall, received six first-place votes in the poll, while the men's squad, reigning league champs, netted three first-place votes.

After consecutive trips to the NCAA National Championship match in 2001 and 2002, the Bronco women once again have their eyes set on the College Cup in 2004. Santa Clara will be led by seven seniors, including All-American and 2003 WCC Player of the Year Leslie Osborne. Santa Clara will also welcome a top-15 recruiting class to the fold in the fall.

Portland collected the other two first-place votes, while Pepperdine, the only school other than Santa Clara and Portland to win the WCC crown, was selected third. Rounding out the listing is San Diego, Saint Mary's, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga and San Francisco.

The Broncos were selected to repeat as WCC Champions in the preseason coaches poll.

On the men's side, Santa Clara advanced to the College Cup semifinals last season before falling to eventual champion Indiana in overtime. The Broncos finished the season ranked fourth nationally and will return seven of their eight top scorers from last year's 16-4-4 squad. First team All-WCC honoree and last season's leading scorer Will Weatherly will return to lead the Bronco arsenal. Erik Ustruck and Kelechi Igwe will also lead a team that went unbeaten at home in 2003.

Portland also collected two first-place votes on the men's side and was selected second in the poll. Loyola Marymount was tabbed third and San Diego fourth. Rounding out the preseason listing is San Francisco, Gonzaga and Saint Mary's.

The complete women's release can be found by clicking here, while the complete men's release can be found by clicking here.

WCC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

Rank SchoolPoints
1. Santa Clara (6) 48
2. Portland (2) 44
3. Pepperdine 36
4. San Diego 28
5. Saint Mary's 25
6. Loyola Marymount 23
7. Gonzaga 11
8. San Francisco 9
(first place votes)

WCC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll

Rank SchoolPoints
1. Santa Clara (3) 33
2. Portland (2) 30
3. Loyola Marymount (2) 28
4. San Diego 20
5. San Francisco 14
T6. Saint Mary's 11
T6. Gonzaga 11
(first place votes)