August 26, 2003

Women's Soccer Ranked Fourth by Soccer America

Aug. 26, 2003

BEREKELY, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team will open the 2003 season ranked fourth, according to a preseason poll by Soccer America Magazine. The Broncos have nine scheduled matches against teams also ranked in the top 25, including seven of the top 10.

North Carolina leads the listing, followed by Pac-10 powers Stanford and UCLA, both of which are Bronco opponents this season. Ranked behind Santa Clara is Texas at No. 5. The bottom half of the top 10 include opponents also on SCU's schedule: Notre Dame, Portland, Penn State, Virginia and Pepperdine.

Santa Clara will also face No. 16 California and No. 21 USC, both from the Pac-10.

Six of those nine matches against ranked opposition will be played at SCU's Buck Shaw Stadium. Starting with the season opener on August 29th against the third-ranked Bruins, and through the home finale against No. 7 Portland, the Broncos will be facing the toughest competition in the country. Santa Clara also plays in the toughest conference in the country, as three WCC teams are ranked in the top 10.

In polls by the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz, the Broncos were preseason ranked No. 1.

The season opener on Friday will kick off at 7 p.m. 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.

Additionally, senior Veronica Zepeda and junior Leslie Osborne were named preseason All-Americans. Both team captains for the Broncos this season, Zepeda is a two-time All-American and while Osborne is an All-WCC performer.

North Carolina and Stanford were also honored with two selections each. Eight of the 11 players were from western schools, from the Pac-10, West Coast and Mountain West conferences.

Soccer America will release its Top 25 on Mondays of each week of the college season, through the completion of conference tournaments.

Soccer America College Women's Soccer 2003 Preseason Top 25

Team (Conference) 2002 RecordLast Rank
1. North Carolina (ACC) 21-2-4 2
2. Stanford (Pac-10) 21-2-0 1
3. UCLA (Pac-10) 18-4-1 3
4. Santa Clara (WCC) 20-5-1 4
5. Texas (Big 12) 15-5-1 11
6. Notre Dame (Big East) 13-8-0 NR
7. Portland (WCC) 20-4-2 7
8. Penn State (Big Ten) 19-4-1 13
9. Virginia (ACC) 13-7-2 24
10. Pepperdine (WCC) 18-2-2 5
11. West Virginia (Big East) 18-3-1 8
12. Tennessee (SEC) 18-6-1 12
13. Florida State (ACC) 13-7-3 NR
14. Arizona State (Pac-10) 12-7-3 25
15. Connecticut (Big East) 21-3-1 6
16. California (Pac-10) 12-8-1 18
17. Texas A&M (Big 12) 20-5-1 9
18. Maryland (ACC) 13-8-2 19
19. Clemson (ACC) 14-8-0 14
20. Nebraska (Big 12) 16-6-3 10
21. USC (Pac-10) 11-8-3 NR
22. Villanova (Big East) 14-3-4 20
23. Auburn (SEC) 15-5-2 NR
24. Duke (ACC) 9-9-2 21
25. Charlotte (Conference USA) 16-2-2 23

Santa Clara opponents in italics

Soccer America College Women's Soccer
2003 Preseason All-America Team

Name SchoolPosition Year
Nicole Barnhart Stanford Goalkeeper Junior
Amy LePeilbet Arizona State Defender Senior
Joanna Lohman Penn State Midfielder Senior
Leslie Osborne Santa Clara Midfielder/Forward Junior
Nandi Pryce UCLA Defender Senior
Catherine Reddick North Carolina Defender Senior
Aleisha Rose Brigham Young Midfielder Senior
Christine Sinclair Portland Forward Junior
Natalie Spilger Stanford Defender Senior
Lindsay Tarpley North Carolina Midfielder/Forward Sophomore
Veronica Zepeda Santa Clara Forward Senior