Nov. 9, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The fifth-ranked Santa Clara University women's soccer team claimed a share of its fifth West Coast Conference Championship in the last six seasons with a 6-0 victory over Gonzaga tonight. The win gives the Broncos its sixth league title overall and moves the team to 15-4-1 on the season, 6-1 in the WCC. Gonzaga falls to 6-13-0, 0-7-0.
Pepperdine defeated San Francisco 2-1 earlier today to grab the other share of the league championship. It marked the first time in league history that a team other than Santa Clara and Portland grabbed a piece of the WCC Championship. With the Waves' victory over the Broncos on October 25, Pepperdine will receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Broncos honored its five seniors prior to the start of tonight's contest: Emma Borst, Cara Hanelin, Devvyn Hawkins, Erin Sharpe and Aly Wagner. Wagner was not in attendance, as she is in Pasadena competing in the championship match of the Gold Cup as part of the U.S. Women's National Team.
Although it was a night for seniors, it was sophomore Leslie Osborne who earned the spotlight, netting two goals and two assists to lead the Broncos.
Junior Veronica Zepeda started the Bronco scoring with her game-winner in the fourth minute. Osborne flicked a pass to Zepeda, and then Zepeda juked around a defender, centered herself in the box, and then scored in the lower right corner.
Despite 14 more shots from the Broncos in the first half, Gonzaga held on to a 1-0 deficit, with netminder Ashley Haugen registering 10 saves through the night.
Zepeda scored again in the 56th minute on a play very similar to her first goal, taking a pass from Osborn and maneuvering around a defender to take her shot.
Just 10 minutes later, a Bulldog defender was clearing the ball away from the box, but too horizontally, allowing Micaela Esquivel a chance to run it down and serve it to Osborne, who headed it in for a 3-0 lead. Osborne scored again seven minutes later for her ninth goal of the season. Her first attempted was blocked by Haugen, but the ball rebounded to Osborne and her second shot scored her second goal of the contest, marking her fourth multi-goal game of the season.
Hawkins ender her last regular season home game with a blast from 30 yards that gave the Broncos a five-goal lead in the 82 minute. One minute later, Kristi Candau scored on an assist from Megan Kakadelas for her team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Erin Sharpe earned her fourth win of the season in the net, but left the game in the 25th minute due to an ankle sprain. Alyssa Sobolik and Erin Pearson both saw time in the goal to preserve the shutout.
The Broncos will await Monday's NCAA Selection Show to see who and where it will play in the Tournament. The show will air on ESPN News at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Santa Clara will be looking to make its 14th straight appearance in the NCAA Championship.