A Superstitious Bunch

Dec. 10, 2001

Fresh from its NCAA Championship victory over top-seeded North Carolina in the 2001 College Cup, the Santa Clara women's soccer team shared the pre-match routines that get them in a winning groove.

Sophomore Defender Chardonnay Poole: Jeffery kisses my feet. And if it's a home game, he kisses the field to give our team good luck. He kisses is right on the sideline where we walk out. I also write "MCJ" on my hand. I can't reveal what it stands for until the season's over, but it's just things I want to work on before the game.

Freshman Forward Kristi Candau: I listen to a little Michael Jackson to get me in the mood, get me ready to score.

Senior Midfielder Kerry Cathcart: I don't have any rituals, but I do wear a bow in my hair for every game... and I do a lot of homework.

Junior Goalkeeper Erin Sharpe: Sorry! I'm not superstitious. Oh, actually the defense has a secret handshake we do before the game.

Junior Midfielder Aly Wagner: I'm not superstitious either, but Jerry usually doesn't come to pregame meals with us. If he tried, I would be a little thrown off, I'm not going to lie... It's probably best that he stays away.

When I'm on the field during warm up, I have to do certain juggling stuff... little tricks that I have to complete before the game.

Senior Defender Anna Kraus: I don't have anything particular I have to do before a game, but when I'm on the field, I just stop when there's five minutes left to warm up. I just stop and do nothing. I have a drink and visualize, but as soon as the clock hits five, I just stop, walk over to the bench and have a seat. I never go all the way.

Athletic Trainer Carrie Rubertino: I usually don't have time to do any pregame rituals. The door to my office starts knocking hours before. If the weather's cold I have a certain way I layer all my clothes to keep me warm, plastic bags I put around my feet to keep my shoes dry when it's raining. And making sure I have all my supplies on me.

Volunteer Assistant Coach Shawn Percell: I don't have any as a coach, but as a player I would always take an hour-and-a-half nap and I'd get to the locker room two hours before a match, always really, really early.

Sophomore Forward Veronica Zepeda: Just a shower and a shave.

Freshman Goalkeeper Alyssa Sobolik: I always shave my legs before the first of two games, if we have a two-game weekend. And I always blow dry my hair before a game. I always feel like if you look good, you feel good. I don't want to deal with having bad hair frustrate me before a game. I just blow dry it and put it up and get it out of the way easily.

Freshman Forward Leslie Osborne: I take a shower before every game. I shave my legs before every game. I feel faster and stuff. Also, friends used to tell me games were like dances. So I used to get ready as if I was going to a dance before every big game. And I do my hair a certain way before a game, Lana always has to my hair the same way before every game. And I always like visualize in my head about us winning and stuff.

Freshman Forward Jaclyn Campi: My would be taking a shower too. And getting my flyaways out of my face. I'm not really superstitious though, I just like to go out and play. And I'm always partners with Lana during our warmup.

Freshman Forward Allie Teague: I always warm up with Chardy.

Freshman Goalkeeper Erin Pearson: I don't have any pregame rituals, but regarding warming up with the same person, Ynez is my girl.

Freshman Defender Holly Azevedo: I always do sprints with Leslie.

Junior Defender Emma Borst: I do it almost every game, so I hope that counts. At kickoff, I take a piece of grass from the field and tuck it into my shin guard or sock. It's not really good luck, just 'I hope everything goes well,' and then I tuck it.

Freshman Defender Lana Bowen: I'm always chewing gum before a game and I warm up with my friend Jaclyn Campi.

Senior Goalkeeper Ynez Carrasco: I can't really think of anything. I can't think of anything I would do for volleyball either. I didn't get treatment and therapy... I was pretty consistent with that.

Senior Forward Katie Sheppard: I always wear the same underwear, washed of course. Mine are red and black flowers. And once I get on the field I don't get off. Once I start warming up, I can't cross the line again.

Freshman Forward Bree Horvath: At the beginning of the season, Jess' mom gave me a little Bronco and I kiss it for good luck in the lockerroom before the game. And I always wear a bow in my hair.

Freshman Forward Taline Tahmassian: I usually warm up with Holly and me and Veronica do sprints together. I also visualize before the game.

Senior Defender Danielle Slaton: I put on my uniform... no, I don't know. I don't think I really have any, but I do try to think about being calm.

Freshman Defender Jessica Ballweg: I shower. I shave, so I feel faster. And I listen to music, and dance to get hyper.

Junior Midfielder Devvyn Hawkins: I warm up with Kerry, and usually the team warms up parallel to the goal, but we do it the opposite, we go parallel with the crowd.

Head Coach Jerry Smith: I just don't have an superstitions at all.