Aug. 23, 2002
MISSION, Kan. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team will open the 2002 season ranked first according a preseason poll by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and have nine scheduled matches against teams also ranked in the top 25.
North Carolina, UCLA, Portland round out the top four. Six other Bronco opponents also ranked in the top 25, led by Notre Dame at 7th, followed by Stanford and Florida at 12th and 13th. Santa Clara will also face No. 15 California, as well as No. 16 Saint Mary's and No. 25 Pepperdine during West Coast Conference play.
The listing marks the second time this week the Broncos have been preseason ranked No. 1, as Soccer Buzz Magazine made SCU as its top choice earlier this week.
The other NSCAA/adidas polls for men's and women's soccer programs were also released, with Indiana (DI-men), Cal State Dominguez Hills (DII-men), UC San Diego (DII-women), Richard Stockton (DIII-men) and Ohio Wesleyan (DIII-women) earning the top spots in the respective polls.
Four of the six top-ranked teams will defend NCAA titles in 2002. Indiana and Cal State Dominguez Hills also advanced to title matches in 2001, before falling to North Carolina (preseason No. 4 in DI) and the University of Tampa (preseason No. 9 in DII) respectively.
The NCAA Champions finished the 2001 campaign first in the final polls by NCSAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz. The Broncos were ranked second in the final regular season polls by Soccer America and Soccer Times. Overall, Santa Clara went 10-2 against ranked opponents, with four wins over top-five foes: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford and No. 4 Portland.
The complete 2002 NSCAA/adidas Preseason Rankings for each of the NCAA divisions can be found by clicking here. The regular season rankings for college soccer begin the week of Sept. 2. Rankings for NCAA divisions that week will be completed Tuesday, Sept. 3, due to the Labor Day holiday, but released each Monday throughout the remainder of the season.
The NSCAA/adidas Rankings are conducted by a committee of member coaches throughout the country and are an indicator of the week-to-week status of qualified programs and in no way should be used as a guide or indicator of eligibility for NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA or NJCAA championship selection.
The defending NCAA champions kick off the season next Friday, August 30, with Stanford visits Buck Shaw Stadium. Kick off is at 7:30 p.m. while the gates open at 6:30. The season home opener is also "Santa Clara Community Day." The evening, sponsored by Bank of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau, will offer tickets to Santa Clara residents for half price, only $3.50 with a valid proof of residency, whether that be in the form of a driver's license or utility bill.
In addition to watching some of the top collegiate soccer in the country, there will also feature a pregame community fair and fan festival featuring local businesses and community organizations, the ceremonial raising of the 2001 NCAA Championship banner, and a post-match autograph session for all fans with the Bronco women's soccer team.