No. 4 Women's Soccer Opens WCC Play on Friday

No. 4 Women's Soccer Opens WCC Play on Friday

Oct. 10, 2001

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This Week
Santa Clara opens conference season this Friday. The Broncos' match against San Francisco will be the first of a double-header with the men's team, who will follow the women's 5:30 contest with their own at 8 p.m. against San Diego. The women's team will then conclude the weekend at Gonzaga on Sunday. Although the Zags are winless at 0-7-1, five of the Bulldogs' losses have been by one goal.

Smith Aiming for 50th Conference Victory
SCU head coach Jerry Smith will be aiming for his 49th and 50th WCC victories this weekend when the Broncos take on USF and Gonzaga. Smith is 48-10-1 (.822) all-time in league play, second overall to Portland's Clive Charles, whose record stands at 53-6-1.

Wagner Moves into WCC Career Points List
Aly Wagner moved into 19th place on the league's career points list, with 73 in 49 matches. This season, she currently leads the league in both goals (9) and assists (9) for 27 points. Although Wagner is still seven points away from reaching the top 10 in Santa Clara's recordbook in points, she has vaulted to No. 5 all-time in assists with 29. She registered 12 as a redshirt freshman in 1999 and added eight last season.

Osborne Strikes Early For Place in Recordbook
Leslie Osborne's goal against Fresno State became the sixth-fastest goal scored ever by a Bronco. She headed in her fifth goal of the season just 37 seconds after the match began. The fastest goal ever was notched just 15 seconds into a 1990 match against Sonoma State by Linda Hoffman.

Assisting Others
Four Bronco players rank in the top five the WCC in assists, led by league leader Aly Wagner with nine. Leslie Osborne is tied for second with six while Veronica Zepeda is tied for fourth with five and Taline Tahmassian is sixth with four.

Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's match against San Francisco this week can be heard on a live Internet audio broadcast on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, that contest can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on Santa Clara's official athletic website. By logging on, fans can receive real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer allowing users to listen to the audio broadcast and keep up with the statistics simultaneously. The features were introduced this season and can be enjoyed for the team's remaining five home contests. Ram Fletcher and Will Saso will share duties as the voice of the Broncos with SCU men's soccer alumni Mark Wojciechowski adding color commentary.

Broncos Picked Second in WCC Preseason Poll
Santa Clara was picked to finish second in the 2001 West Coast Conference race according a preseason poll of the league's coaches, the conference office announced August 1.

The Broncos received 45 points overall and three first-place votes in a tally of the conference's eight head coaches. Portland edged Santa Clara by two points for the top position in this year's poll. Loyola Marymount and San Diego tied for third place after ending last season knotted at second in the league standings. Saint Mary's, Pepperdine, San Francisco and Gonzaga round out the poll.

Up Next: Top Five Showdown with UCLA, Undefeated Saint Mary's
The Broncos will face 2000 College Cup participant UCLA next Thursday. The Bruins are currently undefeated at 7-0 and ranked second nationally. SCU will then return to conference play at Saint Mary's on Sunday, one of three league team's ranked in the top 25. They too are undefeated at 9-0-1.

Goalkeeper Roster Includes Former Volleyball Standout
After the graduation of school GAA career recordholder Crystal Gordon and the loss of her back up, Alice Gleason, goalkeeping coach Eric Yamamoto found himself with one back up and three newcomers as the last line of Bronco defense. Freshman Alyssa Sobolik has earned six starts so far in the season, allowing four goals for a .68 GAA. Junior Erin Sharpe has made three starts and has allowed three goals for a 1.01 GAA. Also in the mix is freshman Erin Pearson and SCU volleyball school recordholder Ynez Carrasco. Although the 5-11 outside hitter has never played soccer prior to her spring tryouts, her athletic abilities on the volleyball court will add to the soccer team's depth at this position. She saw her first action of the season Tuesday night against Fresno State when she was substituted in at the 78th minute. She did not record a save in 12 minutes of action.

Head Coach Jerry Smith
In his 15th season as head coach, Jerry Smith (CS Hayward '86) earned his 225th career win against Southern Methodist on Sept. 28. He has compiled an overall record of 228-59-15 (.780) and will be going for his 49th and 50th WCC victories this weekend. Additionally, he has coached Santa Clara to 12 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The winningest coach in the program's history, Smith is fifth on the all-time NCAA coaching victory 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 12 campaigns. In 1990, Santa Clara finished the season ranked first nationally. Additionally, he has coached 13 All-Americans, 11 U.S. National Team Players, eight Academic All-Americans and five WCC Freshmen of the Year, including last year's selection Veronica Zepeda. He coached 1999 National Player of the Year Mandy Clemens and has been awarded WCC Coach of the Year honors five times.

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