Nov. 19, 2003
West Coast Conference rivals Santa Clara and Portland will face each other in a rematch of last year's NCAA Championship match, but this year's contest won't be played at the College Cup, it will be a third-round battle at Merlo Field in Portland, Ore. The Broncos, the 2001 National Champions and 2002 College Cup finalists, are the tournament's ninth overall seed, while the Pilots are seeded eighth. Santa Clara is currently riding a 13-match unbeaten streak.
This marquee match-up features a combined 26 NCAA Tournament appearances, 16 College Cups, and the past two national champions. The winner will qualify for the Elite Eight, marking the 10th consecutive honor for a WCC school. Additionally, of the 42 of the league's All-Conference selections 17--40 percent-- were SCU or Portland student-athletes.
The Broncos, ranked third in the country with a 14-3-5 record, is making its 15th straight NCAA postseason appearance. Santa Clara received the West Coast Conference's automatic berth into the Tournament after winning its third straight WCC Championship on November 8. The Broncos have advanced to the College Cup on nine occasions.
On the Portland Pilots
Portland is 18-3-2 on the season and earned an at-large berth into the tournament. Santa Clara defeated the Pilots 2-1 in double overtime on Nov. 2 en route to an undefeated conference season. SCU leads the all-time series against the Pilots by a 12-9-1 margin. Portland is led by Lindsey Huie, who has 12 goals and 13 assists on the year. The Pilots topped Denver 1-0 and Nebraska 4-1 to advance to the third round.
The Rest of the Field
Of the 64 teams selected, 14 were from the West, with WCC opponents San Diego and Pepperdine also placed in the draw. SCU went 6-3-2 against the tournament field during the regular season. North Carolina is the tournament's top seed, followed by Notre Dame, Florida, UCLA, Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia and Portland.
Advancing Through the Championship
The winner of the Santa Clara-Portland match will meet the winner of the North Carolina-Purdue contest in the quarterfinals November 28-30. The 2003 Women's College Cup will be held December 5 and 7 and is hosted by North Carolina State University and the Capital Area Soccer League in Cary, N.C.
Live on the Internet
Livestats for the NCAA Third Round match featuring Santa Clara and Portland can be found online at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. It will link to Portland's website and allow fans to follow the match live statistically.
Santa Clara just completed its third season of live Internet audio broadcasts for its entire home schedule. Additionally, Buck Shaw contests were followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on SCU's official athletic website. By logging on, fans received real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer, allowing users to listen to the audio broadcast and keep up with the statistics simultaneously. Ram Fletcher and SCU men's soccer alumni Mark Wojciechowski returned as the voices of the Broncos.
Osborne Joins 100-Point Club
Junior Leslie Osborne is steadily climbing both the Santa Clara and West Coast Conference recordbooks. The midfielder from Menomonee Falls, Wis., is one of three players that have started all 22 matches this season, and despite taking on a more defensive role this season, leads the team with 11 goals and 28 points. Osborne became only the eighth Bronco--and 14th WCC player--to notch 100 points with her first-half score against Portland. In SCU record books, that score moved her into the top eight in goals, at 35, while she is also ranked ninth in assists (33). In the league listings, Osborne is 11th in career assists and 13th in career goals and points.
Zepeda a Semifinalist for M.A.C. Hermann Trophy
Veronica Zepeda has been named a semifinalist for the 2003 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top players in NCAA Division I soccer. The Riverside, Calif., native is a preseason All-America candidate, and opened the season against third-ranked UCLA with a goal. She currently has 12 points (3 goals, 6 assists).
The M.A.C.'s Hermann Trophy is college soccer's version of the Heisman Trophy. Past recipients include former Broncos Mandy Clemens and Aly Wagner. Clemens won both the Hermann Trophy and MAC Player of the Year awards in 1999, while Wagner became the honoree to have the distinction of receiving the newly-unified award.
Among the Nation's Leaders
Santa Clara is currently tied for 14th in scoring offense, averaging 2.50 points per game, 54th in goals-against average, at 0.902, and 57th in shut out percentage (0.41). Individually, Julie Ryder is ranked third in goals-against average (0.464), one of two freshmen in the top 10.
Spreading the Offense
Twelve different Broncos have scored goals this season, with nine team members notching at least three goals apiece. Leslie Osborne leads the squad with 11 goals, followed by Tina Estrada's seven, and Tracy Hess and Marian Dalmy's six. Accounting for assists, there are seven Broncos with at least 12 points on the season, led again, by Osborne's 28.
In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the league in goals (55) and corner kicks (127), while ranking second in shots (324), points (153), and assists (43). Individually, Leslie Osborne is ranked third in goals (11) and points (28), while ranking fourth in shots (53), and sixth in assists (6). Tina Estrada is ranked eighth in goals (7), shots (42) and points (18). Marian Dalmy and Tracy Hess are tied for ninth in goals (6), while Veronica Zepeda is sixth (6) and Kakadelas 10th (5) in assists. Julie Ryder leads the league in goals-against average (.46) and is second in shut outs per game (0.53).
Kakadelas Earns All-Academic Honors
Forward Megan Kakadelas has been named to the CoSIDA District VIII All-Academic First Team. She has balanced a 3.64 grade-point average in accounting while being a significant contributor on the field, posting four goals and five assists for 13 points this season.
"At Santa Clara, we don't take the term 'student-athlete' lightly," head coach Jerry Smith said. "We talk to the team all the time about balance and for one of our players to be recognized for her academics, while at the same time helping our team continue to be one of the top programs in the country is a wonderful example that we hope all of our players will be striving toward."
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. District VIII is composed of Division I schools in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia.
Fab Freshman Class
Santa Clara recruited the top class in the country, according to Soccer Buzz and Soccer America magazines. It marked the first time since 1998 that the Broncos have been honored with the top listing by Soccer Buzz. The class includes Marian Dalmy, Tina Estrada, Tiffany Roberts, Julie Ryder, Elyse Shelger and Lauren Zealear. The group has made an immediate impact for the Broncos, as five are regular starters. The class has combined for 19 of the team's 55 goals, while also taking responsibility for 11 assists, six shut outs and 37 saves.
Bronco Bios: Julie Ryder
As a Freshman in 2003: A first-team All-West Coast Conference honoree... becomes first freshman goalkeeper to garner first-team honors since 1997... has started 15 contests... earned first collegiate start at San Jose State... has 43 saves on the season... has allowed seven goals in 1357 minutes for a 0.46 GAA, ranked third nationally... is 12-1-2 on the season with eight shut outs... earned first career shutout against California... missed matches at Virginia Classic due to groin strain... posted three straight shut outs, against previously-undefeated Cal Poly, at Stanford and at San Diego... allowed a goal against LMU, ending a shut out streak of 294:38 minutes, dating back to September 21 against Notre Dame... posted sixth shut out of season at Saint Mary's, making a season-high six saves... eighth shut out of the season came against Arizona State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, placing her eighth on the Broncos' single-season listing...
Bronco Bios: Marian Dalmy
As a Freshman in 2003: Named to the SCU adidas Classic All-Tournament Team... has started 12 contests and seen action in 16 matches... did not play against Cal Poly after pulling leg muscle against USC... suffered high left ankle sprain at San Diego, and missed the remaining six conference matches... has split time between forward and midfield roles... has five goals and two assists for 12 points... scored first collegiate goal at San Jose State in first-half action... added first assist in second period... scored against Pacific... had four shots on goal vs. the Tigers... tied match against Penn State with score in 76th minute... slipped a pass through three Georgia defenders to assist on Broncos' third goal... added a score against Notre Dame... scored game-winner at Stanford in the first half... posted fifth goal of season at CS Fullerton... returned to action against Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament... entered the match to start the second half and scored the game-winner just 13 minutes later...
Bronco Bios: Tiffany Roberts
As a Freshman in 2003: An honorable mention All-West Coast Conference honoree... has started 15 contests at midfield and seen action in 21... missed TCU match... has four goals and one assist for nine points... made first start at San Jose State... earned an assist on team's seventh goal against the Spartans... scored third tally against Pacific from 30 yards out... headed in the game-winner against Cal Poly in the 14th minute... scored second game-winner of season at San Diego... added team's first score at Gonzaga...
Bronco Bios: Tina Estrada
As a Freshman in 2003: An honorable mention All-West Coast Conference honoree... has started 15 matches and has seen action in 19 contests... has seven goals and four assists for 18 points... did not practice with the team during preseason training due to mononucleosis and missed first three matches... made Bronco debut in second overtime against California... earned first start against Georgia and scored in the 11th minute, assisted on a goal in the 16th minute, and scored again in the 88th minute... assisted on the game-winner at Stanford... scored against LMU off a midfield steal... netted a goal and an assist at San Francisco... posted a shot in overtime against Portland... added second-half two goals at Gonzaga to secure the Broncos' third straight WCC title... took six shots against Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament... scored game winner against Arizona State in the NCAA second round...
Bronco Bios: WCC Freshman of the Year Lauren Zealear
As a Freshman in 2003: Named the WCC Freshman of the Year, becoming the sixth Bronco in the last eight seasons to earn the honor... earned first-team All-WCC recognition... has started 20 contests and seen action in all 22 matches... began the season at defense, but has since moved to the midfield... has two goals and three assists for seven points... assisted on the Broncos fifth goal against Pacific... scored first goal of the season at Stanford... netted the equalizer against LMU on a header... assisted on the game-winner against the Lions... added assist on final goal against Pepperdine...
Bronco Bios: Elyse Shelger
As a Freshman in 2003: Has seen action in eight contests, making collegiate debut at San Jose State... earned an assist in the Broncos' fifth goal against Georgia...