Sept. 12, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara University has earned a place among the elite athletic programs in the nation during the 2006 fall sports season. Three teams are currently ranked in the top-10 of the national polls, while Sports Illustrated has the Broncos ranked fifth among all colleges in its all-sports rankings. Women's soccer leads the way at No. 3 in the nation, while men's soccer has moved up to No. 6 in the polls. The volleyball team, which reached the Final Four last season, is currently eighth in the country.
Last week, Sports Illustrated compiled its first installment of the all-sports rankings and Santa Clara placed fifth with 65 points, behind only USC (82.2), Notre Dame (77.5), UCLA (69) and Penn State (66.5). Santa Clara is the highest ranked non-football school in the rankings. The rankings are calculated by taking the Top 25 in all fall sports except for cross country (as of press time last week, there were still no fall rankings) and awarding points based on the standings (a No. 1 ranking gets 25 points, a No. 25 gets one point, etc.). A little more weight is given to football (No. 1 gets 37.5 points; No. 25 gets 1.5). To view the full rankings, click here.
Both the men's and women's soccer teams are off to great starts this season, as the men have posted a 4-0-1 record while the women are enjoying a 5-1-0 start. Last week, the men's team, led by head coach Cameron Rast, knocked off highly-ranked Saint Louis 4-1 in resounding fashion, while the women's team, coached by Jerry Smith, defeated two top-10 opponents. On Sept. 8, they defeated No. 9 Connecticut 2-1 in double overtime and on Sept. 10, they shut out then No. 3 Texas A&M 2-0 in a game broadcast live on ESPNU.
Women's volleyball has followed up its Final Four appearance from a year ago with an impressive start as well as they have posted a 6-1 record against some of the nation's toughest competition. Last weekend, Jon Wallace's squad defeated No. 15 Missouri in the second game of the Texas Invitational. The team will play four times this week, including a Thursday night showdown on the road against the seventh-ranked Stanford University Cardinal at Maples Pavilion at 7:00 p.m.