Women's Soccer Faces Tough Road Contest at Portland
Oct. 11, 2000
This Week Only two teams have won women's soccer West Coast Conference titles since the league began lay in 1992, and those two teams will face each other in one of the league's biggest rivalries. Winners of three straight, 10th-ranked Santa Clara (9-3-1) will be tested this weekend in its quest for a fourth straight league title when it faces WCC rival Portland, ranked 17th, this Saturday afternoon in Oregon.
The Opponent Portland is 10-2-0 on the season and ranked 17th in the NSCAA/adidas Poll. The Pilots are 1-0-0 in the WCC after defeating Gonzaga 3-0 in early September. Portland did not play this past weekend. Santa Clara leads the all-time series9-7-1, five of those matches going into overtime, but Portland owns the WCC edge, 5-3-1. The Broncos have not lost a league match since falling to Portland Oct. 31, 1997, a 1-0 overtime defeat. Portland won league titles in 1992, '94, '95, and '96, in addition to sharing the WCC Championship with Santa Clara in 1997. The Broncos also earned titles in 1993, '98 and '99. Portland's Cheryl Loveless is ranked 13th nationally in goals-against average, with a 0.53 mark.
Portland Match an Internet Broadcast Santa Clara's contest against Portland will be broadcast live online at www.internetsoccer.com.
Broncos Continue on WCC Winning Streak Santa Clara has won a school-record 19 straight West Coast Conference matches. The Broncos have not lost a league match since a 1-0 overtime loss to No. 3 Portland Oct. 31, 1997. During the Broncos current streak, the team has outscored the opposition 99-4 with 15 shutouts.
WCC Player of the Week Senior forward Heather Aldama netted a goal and an assist in each of the Broncos' WCC victories last week against Gonzaga and Pepperdine to earn Player of the Week honors.
WCC Player of the Month Kathleen Celio was named the WCC's Player of the Month for September. The senior forward scored her first career hat trick as the Broncos swept Oregon 6-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium to open the Bronco's 2000 home schedule. She leads the team with eight goals and four assists, for 20 points, ranking first in the WCC. Celio had a knack for scoring against ranked opponents last month, earning at least two points against Connecticut, Notre Dame, Maryland and Stanford, when Santa Clara went 3-1 in those matches.
In the Rankings Santa Clara remained ranked 11th in the NSCAA/adidas Poll for the second straight week. After the season's first losses to Washington and Notre Dame, the Broncos fell 17 spots after beginning the season ranked second and stayed at No. 19 for two straight weeks before moving up to 15th and then to its current stay at 11th. The No. 19 ranking marked the first time since 1987 that the Broncos have been out of the top 10. In Soccer America's Poll, the Broncos remained 10th for the third straight week. Santa Clara is 4-3-1 vs. currently-ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 6 Connecticut, No. 23 Maryland, No. 5 Stanford and No. 17 Wake Forest, and falling to Washington, No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 15 Virginia. The tie was against No. 11 California. The Broncos will play two more ranked opponents during the regular season, including No. 17 Portland this Saturday and No. 13 USC four days later. In other polls, Santa Clara is 10th by Soccer Times and 13th by SoccerBuzz Magazine. Additionally, SoccerBuzz conducted a vote asking fans which team they thought would most likely win the 2000 NCAA title. Although North Carolina received 27 percent of the vote, Santa Clara finished close behind, with 22 percent.
In the WCC After winning the league for the third time in 1999, Santa Clara was selected by conference coaches as the favorite to win the West Coast Conference title for the fourth straight year. Receiving seven first-place votes, the Broncos garnered 49 points from league coaches. Portland was picked second with 40 points, followed by Loyola Marymount, San Diego, Saint Mary's, Pepperdine, Gonzaga and San Francisco.
Assisting Others to Lead the WCC Santa Clara's unselfishness with the ball is seen in this week's WCC statistics, as the Broncos rank 1-2-3 in the conference in assists. Heather Aldama has seven, while Aly Wagner and Veronica Zepeda have six each. Megan Horvath, Kathleen Celio and Kristi Candau also make the list, all tied for 10th with four assists each on the season. Zepeda is also third in points per game (1.60) and game winners (3). Kathleen Celio is fourth in points per game (1.54) and tied for second in points (20). Wagner is also fifth in two categories, shots (33) and shots per game (3.00). As a team, Santa Clara leads the league in points (117), goals (39), assists (39), assists per game (3.00) and yellow cards issued (14). The Broncos are second in shots (214) and goals per game (3.00).
Bronco Olympic Silver Medalists Olympic silver medalists Danielle Slaton and Brandi Chastain--fresh from Sydney, Australia--landed at San Jose's International Airport around 2 p.m., which happened to be Santa Clara's kickoff time against Wake Forest on Oct. 1. The two made it to the field just before halftime. Slaton, a junior defender, immediately began warming up and played the entire second half in the Bronco defense. She was the youngest member of the 2000 Olympic Team and was the only National Team member with college eligibility remaining. Chastain is an assistant coach for the Broncos and was a member of the 1996 Olympic gold-medal winning team.1999 alumna Nikki Serlenga also made the squad while sophomore midfielder Aly Wagner was named an alternate.
Broncos Shutout Gonzaga, Defeat Pepperdine in WCC Openers The quest for a fourth straight league title is off to the right start, as Santa Clara shut out Gonzaga 5-0 and defeated Pepperdine 3-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium to open its West Coast Conference season Oct. 6 and 8.
The Broncos did not allow a Bulldog shot, blanking the Zags 22-0. That marked the first time in seven years--that's 166 matches--that Santa Clara has not allowed an opponent shot. The last time was a 3-0 victory over Oregon State on Sept. 11, 1993, when SCU outshot the Beavers by the same margin, 22-0.
For the Bulldogs, the loss marked the 20th straight to a ranked opponent. The Broncos have defeated Gonzaga in all eight of the team's meetings, allowing only one goal to the Bulldogs in 1994.
Aly Wagner led the Broncos with four points, on one goal and two assists. She passed a short corner to Heather Aldama, who returned the pass for Wagner to send a hard shot into the far post at the 9:38 mark. Two minutes later, Wagner played a long ball to Aldama from midfield as she beat her defender for the goal. Santa Clara opened the second half with a goal from Kristi Candau, her fourth in three matches. She picked up a deflection from a defender and sent it past a diving Bulldog keeper. Danielle Slaton and Sasha Sulkosky scored their first goals of the season. Slaton sent a short corner kick to Wagner, who passed it right back to Slaton. The Olympic silver medalist then dribbled infield and took a shot from 35 yards out that pounded the roof of the net. Sulkosky's score was a penalty kick off Zag goalie Courtney Haury.
Against Pepperdine, Rachel Weber posted her first game-winner of the season to lead Santa Clara to its fourth straight win. She scored at the 33-minute mark when she took a pass from Devvyn Hawkins and beat two defenders for a straight shot at the net. Wagner posted the Broncos' first goal of the afternoon off a cross from Aldama from the far side. Aldama capped the scoring with a goal in the second half.
Waves midfielder Lacey Ubaldi scored Pepperdine's lone goal of the match after collecting a goalkeeper deflection and scoring from 15 yards out during first-half play.
Coming From Behind With the 4-1 win over Wake Forest on Oct. 1, Santa Clara earned its second come-from behind victory this season. On Sept. 10, the Broncos defeated Connecticut 2-1 in overtime for the program's first rally in the last 70 matches, dating back more than four years. On Sept. 22, 1996, Santa Clara found itself down 1-0 at the half to Stanford, but scored two goals in the second period for a 2-1 win.
A Needed Boost to the Bronco Defense Santa Clara's defense has already given up twice as many goals as it did all of last season. In 1999 the Broncos only gave up 10 goals, and only four of those came in the first 11 matches. This season, the Broncos ceded 18 goals in its first 11 matches. Junior Danielle Slaton's return to defense should help to improve these numbers.
MAC Player of the Year Finalists Junior Danielle Slaton and sophomore Aly Wagner were named finalists for the 10th annual Missouri Athletic Club's Collegiate Player of the Year Award, the Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation announced Oct. 2. The award is the official National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas award for Division I players. 1999 alumna Mandy Clemens won the award last season. In addition to the selecting the 15 candidates for the award, coaches also identified five players to watch" during the season. Topping that list is Santa Clara's Veronica Zepeda. The Player of the Year will be selected by a vote of NSCAA member Division I coaches and will be honored at an awards banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club on Friday, Jan. 5, 2001, and at the NSCAA convention later in January in Indianapolis. Among the 15 candidates for the prestigious crystal soccer ball trophy are three players from Nebraska and the defending NCAA champion North Carolina. Repeat selections from the 1999 ballot are Anne Makinen of Notre Dame and Mary-Frances Monroe of Connecticut.
Hermann Trophy Finalists Senior Heather Aldama, junior Danielle Slaton and sophomore Aly Wagner were named finalists for the 2000 Hermann Trophy, the National Soccer Hall of Fame announced in August. The Hermann Trophy, college soccer's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy, honors the outstanding male and female collegiate soccer players in the United States. Fifteen finalists were named. The winners of the 2000 Hermann Trophy will be announced Sat., Dec. 9, in conjunction with the men's College Cup in Charlotte, N.C. Santa Clara and defending NCAA champion North Carolina field three finalists each. Former player Mandy Clemens became the first Bronco to be honored with the Hermann, when she was announced as the 1999 winner. Clemens was only the second SCU player to capture the title of national player of the year. Current Santa Clara assistant coach Brandi Chastain earned postseason honors following the 1990 season as she was named the 1990 ISAA Player of the Year. The Hermann Trophy is named after Robert R. Hermann, founding Chairman of the North American Soccer League. It was first presented in 1967.
WCC Player of the Week Kristi Candau came off the bench and scored two goals against Weber State and one against Wake Forest during the Santa Clara adidas Classic to earn Player of the Week honors. For her efforts, the freshman forward was named the Classic's Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
Soccer America's Team of the Week Senior Heather Aldama and freshman Veronica Zepeda were named to Soccer America's Team of the Week for Sept. 27 Aldama earned the honor after being named the adidas Bay Area Classic's most outstanding defender, a tournament held at San Jose State's Spartan Stadium. She earned two assists after setting up a goal each against No. 5 Stanford and No. 11 California. Zepeda scored one goal and three assists in the Bay Area Classic, earning All-Tournament Team honors and selection to Soccer America's Team of the Week. Her game-winner against Stanford was her third straight this season.
Two Broncos Honored As Preseason All-Americans Junior defender Danielle Slaton and sophomore Aly Wagner earned preseason All-America honors according to Soccer Buzz Magazine.
All Tied Up The even score that Santa Clara posted against No. 11 California marked the first tie for the Broncos in the last 47 matches. Santa Clara last added a tie to the team's record in 1998, when a Sept. 27 match at Stanford ended with no score.
Rare Consecutive Losses Santa Clara's back-to-back losses to Washington and Notre Dame, Sept. 4 and 8, marked the first time in six seasons that the Broncos have lost consecutive matches. In September 1994, Santa Clara lost three straight to Loyola Marymount, Stanford and North Carolina.
Shots on Goal The loss to Notre Dame marked the first time in 19 matches that Santa Clara has been outshot by an opponent. North Carolina was the last team to outshoot Santa Clara, occurring Sept. 24, 1999. With its 23 shots, Notre Dame became only the fourth team in 10 years to have posted 20 or more shots against Santa Clara:
Year Opponent Opponent Shots Santa Clara Shots Match Outcome
1992 North Carolina 25 5 UNC, 3-0
2000 Notre Dame 23 10 ND, 6-1
1994 Washington 23 18 2-2 Tie (2ot)
1993 North Carolina 22 8 UNC, 3-2
1993 Hartford 22 18 SCU, 2-0
Notre Dame Found the Net The six goals Santa Clara allowed Notre Dame in the Broncos' loss Sept. 8 marked the most goals allowed by a Santa Clara squad since a 8-0 defeat to UC Davis in 1980. The Broncos have not allowed five goals since 1991, to North Carolina.
Shut Out Santa Clara's 1-0 loss to Virginia was the team's first shut out of the season and first match with no Bronco goal on the board since the 1999 NCAA semifinal loss to Notre Dame.
School-Record Streaks End with 2-1 Loss to Washington Santa Clara fell to Washington 2-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium on Sept. 4, ending two streaks in the Bronco recordbooks. A 32-match home win streak and a 45-match regular season win streak was stopped. The last time Santa Clara suffered a home and regular season loss was Oct. 31, 1997, a 1-0 overtime defeat to WCC foe Portland.
"I've never been that concerned with streaks, especially those that carry over into a new season," head coach Jerry Smith said. "Every season is a new year, and our goal has always been to figure out what works and be the best team we can be come playoff time. Sometimes this process helps you get there. I actually feel good about being able to see how this team responds and comes back from a loss--this is the first time we can test that in two years, since the last two years our first loss ended the season."
Celio Scores Hat Trick in Sweep of Oregon Senior forward Kathleen Celio scored her first career hat trick as Santa Clara swept Oregon 6-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium to open the Broncos' 2000 home schedule Sept. 1. Celio scored her first goal :39 seconds into the match, taking a cross from Aly Wagner and headed the ball into the net. It was the program's fifth quickest all-time goal. She followed with headers at the 56:42 and 61:24 marks. Celio recorded her seventh point of the night on an assist to Kerry Cathcart's goal with :25 seconds remaining in the match.
Fresh Faces Santa Clara's 2000 recruiting class was named the fourth best in the West Region by SoccerBuzz Magazine. Nationally, SoccerBuzz ranked the Broncos seventh.
The Broncos at Buck Shaw Stadium Santa Clara has posted a 122-17-7 record at 6,800-seat Buck Shaw Stadium over the last 11-plus seasons, including an 11-0-0 record in 1999. Over the last five-plus seasons, the Broncos are 72-6-7 (.888) at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Head Coach Jerry Smith -- 14th Season Jerry Smith (CS Hayward '86) is in his 14th season as Santa Clara head coach, having compiled an overall record of 210-54-15 (.780) and coaching Santa Clara to 11 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The winningest coach in the program's history, Smith is fifth on the all-time NCAA coaching victories list. The Broncos have been ranked among the nation's Top 25 every season during Smith's coaching tenure and have finished among the Top 10 in each of the last 11 campaigns. In 1990, Santa Clara finished the season ranked first in the nation. Additionally, he has coached 13 All-Americans, 11 U.S. National Team Players, eight Academic All-Americans and four WCC Freshmen of the Year. He coached 1999 National Player of the Year Mandy Clemens and has been awarded WCC Coach of the Year honors five times.