Aug. 11, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team reported to campus today to begin preparations for the 2003 season. The Broncos' first official training session will be on Wednesday.
"It was great to see all the players in the same room for the first time," head coach Jerry Smith said. "You could see the excitement on the coaching staff's faces; we're very excited about the season."
All but one of the 25 roster players were present for this morning's meetings, as freshman Tina Estrada of Fremont is out indefinitely with an illness.
The team will conduct two practices on Wednesday and Thursday at Stanton Field, at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Each session will run approximately 90 minutes. On Thursday night, the team will bus down to San Diego and spend eight days training at the Olympic Training Center. Upon the team's return on the 22nd, it will practice once daily leading up to the Friday, August 29 season opener against UCLA.
"The priorities for the preseason will be to get the team to come together and set goals for the regular season," Smith continued. "Our success this year will rely upon how quickly the team will bond and develop ties, so when they get on the field together this fall, they will want to fight for each other. Secondly, being a part of this program comes with some assumed goals, but it will be up to this group to look each other in the eye and commit to embark upon a journey and define what we're going to be about this fall."
Santa Clara will aim for its 10th overall appearance in the College Cup this season, but the first challenge is its 20-match schedule, that features 12 programs that advanced to last year's NCAA Championship, including four of the top eight seeds. The Broncos will host eight of those matches at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The 2003 season kicks off in 18 days, against UCLA at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 29. Last season, the Bruins were ranked third when the Broncos upset them in overtime in Los Angeles. Santa Clara is 4-0 against UCLA in the all-time series between the schools.