No. 3 Women's Soccer Hosts No. 2 UCLA on Thursday
Oct. 17, 2001
Thursday night offers collegiate soccer fans one of the most exciting showdowns of the 2001 season: No. 2 UCLA at No. 3 Santa Clara on Thursday night. The Bruins, who participated in last year's College Cup, are currently undefeated at 11-0 and ranked second nationally. SCU will then return to conference play at Saint Mary's on Sunday, one of four league teams ranked in the top 25. Ranked seventh, the Gaels are also undefeated at 11-0-1.
Smith Notches 50th Conference Victory
SCU head coach Jerry Smith earned his 49th and 50th WCC victories last weekend when the Broncos shut out both USF and Gonzaga. Smith is 50-10-1 (.828) all-time in league play, second overall to Portland's Clive Charles, whose record stands at 53-7-1.
Osborne Named WCC Player of the Week
Leslie Osborne was named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Week for her play against Fresno State and WCC opponents San Francisco and Gonzaga this past weekend. Osborne's selection marks the third time this season a Bronco has been honored by the league office, as Aly Wagner was awarded the conference honor on both September 10 and October 2.
Osborne, the third freshman to earn the honor this season, scored four goals on five shots on goal and 12 shots overall while adding five assists. Against Fresno State, she scored just 37 seconds into the match, marking the sixth-fastest goal ever scored by a Bronco. She added two assists to her efforts that night. Against San Francisco, Osborne recorded a goal and an assist within five minutes of each other in SCU's 5-0 victory. She topped the weekend off against Gonzaga, assisting on the Broncos' first two scores, and then adding the Broncos third goal of the match as well as its final score in the 80th minute.
Bronco Offense Leads the Nation
Santa Clara leads the nation in total offense, averaging 4.17 points per game with 50 goals in 12 matches. The Bronco defense is also ranked, at No. 12 with a 0.66 goals-against average. Individually, junior Aly Wagner leads the nation in assists, averaging 1.08 per game while freshman Leslie Osborne is tied for seventh with a 0.83 mark. The duo is also ranked nationally in points per game, with Wagner sixth in the country with a 2.75 mark, and Osborne is tied for 15th, with a 2.17 per-game average.
Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's match against UCLA Thursday night 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 four 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.
Wagner Moves Up in WCC Career Points List
Aly Wagner moved into 18th place on the league's career points list, with 79 in 51 matches. This season, she currently leads the league in both goals (10) and assists (13) for 33 points. Additionally, Wagner is one point away from reaching the top 10 in Santa Clara's recordbook in points, and has vaulted to No. 6 all-time in assists with 33. 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.
More on UCLA
Thursday night's meeting will mark the third between Santa Clara and the Bruins. The Broncos have won both previous contests, the first a 2-0 win in Los Angeles in 1994. The Broncos won again at home in the third round of the 1999 NCAA Championship, when SCU scored three first-half goals en route to a 7-0 victory. UCLA has already defeated SCU's WCC opponents Portland, San Diego and Loyola Marymount.
Hermann Trophy Semifinalists
Thursday night's matchup with UCLA will feature four Hermann Trophy semifinalists, two from each team. SCU's Danielle Slaton and Aly Wagner, along with UCLA's Stephanie Rigamat and Mary-Frances Monroe, have been named candidates for the 2001 Hermann Trophy, college soccer's oldest and most prestigious player of the year award, the Hermann Foundation and TEAMtalk, Inc., announced in August. Fifteen finalists were named. Wagner was named one of five finalists for last year's honor, while Slaton and former standout Heather Aldama were named semifinalists. 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. Former standout Brandi Chastain earned postseason honors following the 1990 season as she was named the 1990 ISAA Player of the Year. Three finalists will be announced on December 1 and the winners will be named at the College Cup, held December 8 in Dallas, Texas. The Hermann Trophy, soccer's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, has been given annually since 1988 and is named for Robert R. Hermann, the former Chairman of the Executive Committee of the old North American Soccer League and one of that ground-breaking league's founders.
More on Saint Mary's
Saint Mary's will face 25th-ranked Pepperdine on Friday before Santa Clara visits on Sunday, allowing the Waves first chance of handing SMC its first loss. The Gaels' victory over Portland last week marked their first ever over the Pilots. Junior goalkeeper Ruth Montgomery has posted 7.5 shutouts on the season for the Gaels. Although Saint Mary's won last year's meeting 4-2, the Broncos hold the series advantage 19-3-2.
Wagner in Striking of Distance of WCC Top Season Goals List
Several WCC players are within striking distance of breaking into the league's top-ten list for goals in a season. There are four players currently tied for 10th on the list with 13 goals. This season, there are four players within five goals of that mark with Aly Wagner and Pepperdine's Kristi Bissonette the closest at 10 goals apiece.
Santa Clara leads the conference in every offensive category: shots (257), goals (50), assists (48), point (148), goals per game (4.17) and assists per game (4.00). Individually, five Broncos are listed in the league's top 10 list for goals, assists and their respective per-game averages.
In the Rankings
Santa Clara is currently ranked third by all four polls: Soccer America, Soccer Buzz Magazine, Soccer Times and NCSAA/adidas. Four of Santa Clara's final seven opponents are ranked including two that the Broncos face this week that are undefeated and ranked in the top 10: No. 2 UCLA on Thursday followed by seventh-ranked Saint Mary's on Sunday.
Five WCC Teams Ranked in NSCAA/adidas Poll
The WCC helped solidify itself as one of the top soccer leagues in the country after placing five teams in the NSCAA/adidas poll this week. Santa Clara leads the way at No. 3 while Saint Mary's is in the top 10 for the first time in the program's history, currently at No. 7. Portland fell to 11th while Pepperdine is ranked 25th. San Diego is receiving votes. The quintet has a combined record of 49-6-4. While the Pilots and Broncos have been mainstays in the rankings, the Toreros are ranked for the first time this season, the Gaels return to the polls for the first time since 1995 and the Waves are ranked for the first time in the program's history.
The Broncos outscored its three opponents last week 21-1 and now have 50 goals on the season, 11 more than six of the league's eight teams had all last season.
Up Next: Conference Action Continues in LA
The Broncos will head south to continue WCC action, taking on Loyola Marymount Friday, October 26 and 25th-ranked Pepperdine on Sunday, October 28. Pepperdine is ranked nationally for the first time in the program's history.
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 230-59-15 (.786) and earned his 50th WCC victory this weekend against Gonzaga. 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.
Bronco Bios: Aly Wagner
As a Junior in 2001: Named a Hermann Trophy semifinalist... also named a preseason All-American... Named the WCC's Player of the Month for September... scored first career-hat trick against Florida State... accomplishment earned her WCC Player of the Week honors and elite team status from Soccer America and Soccer Buzz... posted two goals and two assists at San Jose State... scored one goal and assisted on three others in Bronco win against SMU... added a goal against San Diego State to earn the adidas Classic MVP award... successful weekend also led to her second WCC Player of the Week honors and elite team status from Soccer America and Soccer Buzz... powered a free kick with just 7:43 left in the first overtime period to propel the Broncos to a 2-1 win over Stanford... that victory ended Stanford's 13-match win streak at Maloney Field and its undefeated season...attempted a free kick at the 10:01 mark that went just over the cross bar before she connected on the game winner just 3:00 later... added a goal and an assist against Gonzaga... leads the WCC with 33 points on 10 goals and 13 assists... is ranked sixth nationally in points per game with a 2.75 average... has started all 12 contests and has posted at least one point in 11 of them... has had a hand in more than one score in six Bronco contests... is now in 18th place on the league's career points list, with 79 in 51 matches... is one point away from reaching the top 10 in Santa Clara's recordbook in points, and has vaulted to No. 6 all-time in assists with 33...
Bronco Bios: Veronica Zepeda
As a Sophomore in 2001: Named an honorable mention preseason All-American... scored first goal of the season within first six minutes of first match against Cal Poly... added her second goal later that night... posted a goal and an assist against San Jose State... added an assist for Tahmassian's game-winner against Florida State... has teamed with Tahmassian to score a combined five goals, all within a match's opening six minutes of either half... netted a goal and an assist against SMU... added an assist against SDSU en route to all-adidas Classic honors... has started all 12 contests... is third on the team with 18 points on the season with six goals and six assists...
Bronco Bios: Danielle Slaton
As a Senior in 2001: Named a Hermann Trophy semifinalist... also named a preseason All-American... named to the all-adidas Classic team... has started all 12 matches... and has five assists on the year... notched two assists in the Broncos' 10-0 defeat of Gonzaga... began the season at left back but was moved to the center in late September to secure the defense... has effectively shut down opposing team's attacks... with fellow senior Anna Kraus, anchors a defense that is flanked by two freshman and a freshman goalkeeper... has only allowed one goal all season in the run of play...
Bronco Bios: Devvyn Hawkins
As a Junior in 2001: Named a second team preseason All-American... scored at San Jose State, finishing off a rebound from Ballweg's shot... has started seven matches and has tallied five points on two goals and one assist... missed matches against California, Dayton, SMU and San Diego State personal reasons... father had become gravely ill and has since passed away... rejoined the team two weeks ago and started against Stanford... registered a goal and an assist in the Broncos' 10-0 victory at Gonzaga...
Bronco Bios: Leslie Osborne
As a Freshman in 2001: Registered first collegiate assist against Cal Poly in the team's season opener, passing to fellow freshman Bree Horvath... beat the keeper and three defenders against San Jose State for her first collegiate goal... scored goals in three straight games, against Cal, Dayton and SMU, on the same play: a header off a corner kick from Aly Wagner... posted one goal and two assists en route to all-adidas Classic honors... scored the program's sixth fastest goal all-time against Fresno State, heading in a ball just 37 seconds into the contest... added three goals and three assists against USF and Gonzaga en route to earning WCC Player of the Week and Soccer America Elite team of the week honors... is one of two freshmen that have started all 12 contests... is second on the team in points, with 26 on eight goals and 10 assists...
Bronco Bios: Jessica Ballweg
As a Freshman in 2001: Scored from 30 yards out in the first half to lead Santa Clara to a 1-0 victory over No. 20 Wake Forest for her first collegiate goal... named to Soccer America's elite team of the week for her performance... added another long-distance score, this one from 40 yards out to even the contest at Stanford in the first half... is one of two freshmen that have started all 12 contests... has two goals and two assists for six points... is part of a defense that has allowed only one goal in the season's first 360 minutes...
Bronco Bios: Bree Horvath
As a Freshman in 2001: Scored first collegiate goal in team's season opener against Cal Poly... has seen action in all 12 matches... has started three matches, including her first against California... capped Bronco scoring against Fresno State with the team's sixth goal of the night... added a goal against USF and two against Gonzaga... has 11 points on the season from five goals and one assist...
Bronco Bios: Alyssa Sobolik
As a Freshman in 2001: Has started eight matches and registered 17 saves... has allowed only five goals for a 0.63 goals-against average and a 7-1 record...
Bronco Bios: Lana Bowen
As a Freshman in 2001: Has seen action in all 12 matches and has started on seven occasions, making first collegiate start again Dayton... has one goal and three assists for five points...