Women's Soccer Prepares for White House Visit

March 9, 2002

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The national champion Santa Clara University women's soccer team is making final preparations for its trip to visit the White House next week. The Broncos are one of six intercollegiate national championship teams invited to travel to Washington, D.C. and take part in a championship celebration reception with President George W. Bush on March 12.

Santa Clara's travel party will depart from campus early on Monday and fly most of the day. The team will have dinner and do some sightseeing in Georgetown that night before preparing for their big day.

On Tuesday, the Broncos are planning on visiting the National Mall, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Smithsonian American History Museum before taking part in a tour of the White House. The championship celebration will be held on the White House South Lawn at 3 p.m. Fans can watch the reception live on ESPN, Fox Sports and CNN.

The University of Miami (Fla.) baseball and football teams, the University of North Carolina men's soccer team, the University of Arizona softball team and the Stanford University women's volleyball team were also invited to attend, according to the White House.

On Wednesday, the squad will visit the National Holocaust Museum before returning to campus.

"To receive an invitation to visit the White House and meet the President of the United States is a tremendous honor for our University and for our women's soccer team," said SCU Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick. "This will be an event that each of our student-athletes and coaches will remember throughout their lifetimes. It is so rewarding to see our team and our entire University continue to reap the rewards of national recognition after winning the NCAA championship."

The Santa Clara University women's soccer team won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship in Dallas on Dec. 9 with a 1-0 victory over the University of North Carolina. The title marked the first NCAA national championship for a women's team at SCU and capped the Broncos' eighth overall trip to the College Cup, women's soccer's version of the NCAA Final Four.

It has been a year of additional national honors for the team. Head coach Jerry Smith was named the national coach of the year, while junior Aly Wagner earned national player of the year honors. Senior Danielle Slaton, the only collegiate member of the U.S. Olympic Team that competed in the Sydney Games, was the first-overall selection in the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) professional league draft. Several other players also received local, conference and national recognition for their individual and team achievements.