December 3, 2002

Women's Soccer Faces North Carolina at NCAA College Cup

Dec. 3, 2002

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This Week
Santa Clara University will face North Carolina in the second semifinal match of the 2002 NCAA Women's Soccer Championships this Friday at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. Kick-off is set for 4:30 p.m. Pacific. It will mark SCU's ninth overall appearance at the College Cup. The Broncos, the 2001 National Champions, are the tournament's sixth overall seed, and hosted the first four rounds of the 21st NCAA Championship, topping Creighton and Arizona State, both at 5-1 finals, 3-2 over Nebraska, and 3-1 over Michigan in the quarterfinal.

The Broncos, ranked fourth in the country with a 19-4-1 record, is making its 14th straight NCAA postseason appearance. Santa Clara received an at-large berth in the 2002 Tournament after earning a share of the West Coast Conference Championship on November 9. Pepperdine, by virtue of a tiebreaker, earned the league's automatic bid.

On Television
ESPN2 will air the Broncos semifinal match tape-delayed on Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. PT. The first semifinal will be shown live on ESPN2. The title game will air on ESPN, live on Dec. 8 at Noon. For those that have access to satellite TV, fans can watch Santa Clara's semifinal live on Friday. Coordinates are as follows: Galaxy-11 14K (91' W). The Bronco at the Benson Center will broadcast the Santa Clara-North Carolina semifinal live on Friday, the tape delay on Saturday and the championship match live on Sunday.

Live on the Internet
College Cup host University of Texas is offering fans a chance to follow both semifinal matches and the title game online with a live statistical tracker. The link will be provided to Santa Clara's official athletic website, www.SantaClaraBroncos.com on Wednesday. By logging on, fans can receive real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer.

College Cup Tickets
An All-Tournament ticket package is now on sale by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 408-554-4660. Adult price is $30 while youths ages 2-18 are $22.

Flying the Friendly Skies
The Broncos will leave for Austin on Wednesday, American Airlines flight 836 from San Jose to Austin, arriving at 4:37 p.m. local time. The team returns on Monday, flight 579 that returns to SJC at 11:14 a.m.

Practice Times
All practices will be held at Whitaker fields, just next to Myers Stadium. Santa Clara will practice from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m. on Thursday. Saturday's practice is scheduled from 2-3 p.m.

Austin Weather Report
As of Tuesday, weather.com reports Austin is expecting partly cloudy skies through the weekend. Friday's weather calls for a high/low of 57/41 while Saturday will see the temperatures improve to 63/45. Fans attending Sunday's championship should expect 64/42, but with a chance for rain. Austin's average high for December is 62 degrees, while its average low is 42 degrees. Precipitation for the month averages 2.4 inches. The record high for the city reached 90 degrees in 1955 while the record low was a chilly 4 degrees in 1989.

More on the NCAA Tournament
North Carolina has captured the title 16 times, but in the 2001 championship game, it was Santa Clara who defeated the Tar Heels 1-0 for the Broncos' first National Championship. All-America midfielder Aly Wagner scored the game-winning goal and returns to the team after spending much of the regular season competing with the U.S. National Team. This is the second year of the NCAA Championship's 64-team field. Four seasons ago, the women's bracket was increased from 32 to 48 teams. In the championship, 29 conferences were awarded automatic berths with 35 teams receiving at-large selections.

Leading the West Coast
Santa Clara is the only team west of the Mississippi to have won an NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, achieving the feat in 2001. North Carolina has won 16 of the previous 20 championships, with George Mason, Notre Dame and Florida as the only other schools to capture the College Cup.

Wagner Named MAC Hermann Finalist for Third Year
For the third consecutive year, Aly Wagner has been named a finalist for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top player in NCAA Division I soccer. This year's honorees will have the distinction of being the first to receive the newly-unified award. This summer's announcement of the unification of the M.A.C. Award and the Hermann Trophy completed the merging of NCAA Division I soccer's three top honors. In 1999, the M.A.C. and the NSCAA came together to create a single award recognizing the top DI players. The winners of the M.A.C.'s Hermann Trophy will be decided by a vote of current NSCAA members at the NCAA Division I level. Winners of the Hermann Trophy will be announced at a news conference in Dallas, Texas, on Dec. 12 in conjunction with the NCAA Men's College Cup and the announcement of the NSCAA/adidas All-America teams. The winners will be feted at a dinner in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 10, 2003. Mandy Clemens became the first Bronco to be honored with the Hermann, when she was announced as the 1999 winner. Christie Welsh of Penn State has the opportunity to join an elite list of soccer players with the announcement of the 15 finalists, joining Mia Hamm and Cindy Parlow, both of North Carolina, as the only women to earn back-to-back M.A.C. honors. Welsh is joined by three other candidates from last year's list of finalists: Wagner; Hope Solo, a senior goalkeeper from Washington; and Christine Latham, a senior forward from Nebraska.

Candau Counts in NCAA Tournament
Junior Kristi Candau has scored eight NCAA Tournament goals in three postseasons for the Broncos, putting her in a four way tie for the second spot in Santa Clara records. Including in that list is 1999 Player of the Year Mandy Clemens and WSUA player Jacqui Little. Senior Aly Wagner just moved ahead of her with her ninth career postseason score, a penalty kick against Michigan. Additionally, Wagner has posted nine NCAA assists, good for a tie in the top spot with Danielle Slaton in SCU postseason records, and leads the list in game-winning goals, with five. Candau is right behind her, posting her third game-winner of the NCAA Tournament against Arizona State.

Championship Earns Smith a New 'Do
Last season, the Broncos turned head coach Jerry Smith into a blonde after winning the West Coast Conference Championship. Beginning last season, the WCC adopted an award that rewards the athletic programs within the league that have the top overall performances in conference play. The "Commissioner's Cup" is an all-sports award that utilizes a point system reflecting the finish of each team in conference standings to determine the top overall athletic program in the WCC. At the end of the year the league will present men and women's all-sports awards as well as the overall Commissioner's Cup to the top performing athletic program. The points are awarded based on regular-season or conference championship finishes in the league's 13 sponsored sports, with eight points for the champion, seven for second-place and so on.

With that in mind, Smith challenged his player to win the conference championship not just for their team, but for the good of the entire athletic department. The girls requested some fun and Smith agreed to comply, not knowing what he was agreeing to until after the team captured the title. The Broncos gave their coach a dye job and an ear piercing. He repeated the bet in 2002 and arrived on the sideline for the NCAA Tournament with a Bronco red Mohawk. Like last season, he has promised to maintain the coif through the season.

Wagner Earns All-Academic District Honors
Aly Wagner has been named to the 2002 Verizon Academic All-District VIII second team. Wagner, a senior All-American midfielder, carries a 3.44 GPA in combined sciences. The San Jose native is currently second on the team in goals scored with seven. She's added five assists on the season for 19 points and has started all 12 games she has played for the Broncos. Wagner has missed seven other Santa Clara contests while competing with the U.S. Women's National Team as it is competing in the Gold Cup, a qualifying tournament for the 2003 CONCACAF World Cup. To be eligible for consideration, student-athletes must have reached at least sophomore status, be a starter or significant reserve, and have at least a 3.20 GPA.

Wagner Does Double Duty for Country, College
U.S. Women's National Team member Aly Wagner assisted on three goals in the first half of the team's 9-0 victory over Panama on November 2. She was then driven down to Portland, and on 13 hours rest in between matches, played a full 90 minutes for the Broncos in their win against the Pilots. Wagner missed six SCU contests due to national team commitments this season, as the United States was qualifying for the 2003 Women's World Cup in China by competing in the 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup. She opened the Gold Cup with a goal in the fifth minute against Mexico to lead her team to a 3-0 victory. After missing two matches in September, Wagner joined the Broncos for three weeks. She then rejoined the USNT on Oct. 21 and was out of the Bronco lineup until the NCAA Tournament. The Gold Cup, which also serves as the Regional championship, concluded on Saturday in Pasadena, Calif., when Wagner assisted on Mia Hamm's golden goal, giving the United States a 2-1 victory over Canada.

Wagner's departure is not the first time the Broncos have lost players due to the National Team. Devvyn Hawkins was called up earlier in the month, but declined due to injury. Additionally, Santa Clara began the season without three starters, Jessica Ballweg, Megan Kakadelas and Leslie Osborne, as the trio was leading the United States to its first-ever U19 World Championship.

Wagner Moving Up WCC Charts
With one goal and two assists this past weekend, Aly Wagner moved up to seventh on the West Coast Conference career points list, at 124. Wagner has also broken into the WCC top 15 career goal scorers with 38. She is also fourth on the league's list for career assists, with 48.

Athletic Department Raises National Championship Flag
Fans attending the Broncos' home opener against Stanford watched the athletic department honor the 2001 National Champions by raising a flag near the scoreboard at the south end of the Stadium. Several women's soccer alumni joined the current players on the field to help present the banner to the crowd.

"It's taken a number of years to get to this point and there are a lot of players that have come before this 2001 team that helped us slowly but surely climb the ladder and get to a place where we could win the NCAA title," head coach Jerry Smith said. "This was really something we won on behalf of all the players that have come through our Santa Clara University women's soccer program."