Aug. 25, 2004
The season kicks off against 22nd-ranked Cal Poly at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 27. Cal Poly, which has won two straight Big West Conference titles and four in the last five years, will host the Broncos at Mustang Stadium. Cal Poly returns 10 starters from a 2003 squad that broke several school records en route to an 18-2-2 mark. The Mustangs opened last season with nine straight wins, a streak the Broncos broke with a 2-0 victory at Buck Shaw Stadium. Santa Clara leads the all-time series 12-1-2.
Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's entire home schedule returns to the Internet, as a live audio broadcast is available for a third season on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, Buck Shaw contests can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on SCU's official athletic website. By logging on, fans can receive 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.
Santa Clara will aim for its 10th overall appearance in the College Cup with the start of the 2004 season. The Broncos' 20-match schedule features 10 programs that advanced to last year's NCAA Championship, including three of the top eight seeds. The Broncos will host five of those matches at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Osborne on M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List
Senior Leslie Osborne has been named to the "watch list" of players considered among the top candidates for the 2004 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top players in NCAA Division I soccer. The list was compiled by a committee of the NSCAA, the official selection body for the M.A.C.'s Hermann Trophy. Osborne, a native of Menomonee Falls, Wis., has already been named a preseason All-America by Soccer Buzz and Soccer America magazines.
A list of 15 semifinalists will be announced in November, with three finalists selected in early December. The winner will be announced at a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., on Jan. 8, 2005.
The award 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 M.A.C. Player of the Year awards in 1999, while Wagner became the first honoree to have the distinction of receiving the newly-unified award.
In the Rankings
Santa Clara opens the 2003 season ranked in the top five in all four polls. The NSCAA/adidas, Soccer America and Soccer Times polls list the Broncos second, while Soccer Buzz ranks the team third. The Broncos have three of the top 10 teams on the schedule: No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 4 Portland and No. 8 UCLA.
CSTV to Televise Portland Match
College Sports Television, the first 24-hour college sports television network, will televise the Broncos' Sunday, October 24 match against Portland at Buck Shaw Stadium. The broadcast will be tape-delayed to Thursday, October 28 at 5 and 8:30 p.m. Joe Beninati will call all the action on CSTV Soccer, while Tom Stone will provide expert analysis.
College Sports TV, the fastest-growing independent cable network, is available to more than 20 million homes nationally on cable and satellite. The network is available on Comcast, Time Warner and Adelphia cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (channel 610). For information on CSTV availability in particular markets, consumers can log on to www.collegesports.com/getcstv or call their cable or satellite operator.
Broncos Share Top Spot in WCC Preseason Poll
Santa Clara was selected as the favorite to win the WCC crown in the 2004 preseason poll, as selected by the league coaches. The Broncos, who have captured three straight league titles and seven overall, received six first-place votes in the poll. Portland collected the other two first-place votes, while Pepperdine, the only school other than Santa Clara and Portland to win the WCC title, was selected third. Rounding out this year's poll is San Diego, Saint Mary's, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga and San Francisco.
Osborne Named Preseason All-America
Senior Leslie Osborne was named a preseason All-American by Soccer America and Soccer Buzz magazines. A returning team captain for the Broncos this season, Osborne earned All-America honors last season from Soccer Buzz and CSTV. Osborne Joins 100-Point Club Senior Leslie Osborne is steadily climbing both the Santa Clara and West Coast Conference recordbooks. The midfielder from Menomonee Falls, Wis., closed last season in fine fashion, and became only the eighth Bronco--and 14th WCC player--to notch 100 points with her first-half score against Portland during the regular season. In SCU record books, that tally 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, 12th in career points and 14th in goals.
A Look Ahead: Tournament Time
Santa Clara will continue its season-opening road trip with six matches at three tournaments. The Broncos will visit South Bend, Ind., and participate in Notre Dame's annual event, taking on SMU and the host Fighting Irish. SCU will travel further east and visit senior Jessica Ballweg's home state of New Jersey to play at a tournament hosted by Rutgers. The Broncos will play the Scarlet Knights and Rhode Island before returning to the West Coast. Although back in the Bay Area, Santa Clara will play road contests at Stanford's tournament, taking on Yale and Cal State Fullerton.
Season/Match Tickets on Sale
Season and individual match tickets for Santa Clara University's nationally-recognized soccer teams are on sale through the Department of Athletics' official website www.SantaClaraBroncos.com, and the athletic ticket office at 408-554-4660, between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In conjunction with its exclusive Internet partner, College Sports Online, the athletic department has developed an online ticket application that provides fans with the ability to purchase season tickets, family plans, individual matches or an all-sports pass via the official athletic website. A men's and women's soccer season ticket package that includes the 17 home matches is available for the adult price of $65 each, while a family plan provides a family of five admission to each game for the low price of $100. Youth (12 and under) and senior (over 65-years-old) season tickets are also available for $30. Single games are priced at $7 for adults, $5 for youths and seniors and $2 for non-Ruff Riders SCU students as well as members of Bronco Kidz. Single match team passes are also available for $35.
Two Former Broncos Represent U.S. in Olympics
Two former Santa Clara standouts are representing the United States at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Brandi Chastain and Aly Wagner are two of the 18 players who opened the Games in mid-August and will battle Brazil for the gold medal on Thursday.
The pair are among 14 current and former West Coast Conference student-athletes that competed in this year's event, and represent five countries. Chastain, who is considered one of the best attacking defenders and most skillful players in the world, is competing in her third Olympics, while Wagner, who is one of the most talented playmakers in the world, is making her Olympic debut.
"I can't stop smiling and I can't stop talking," said Wagner upon her arrival in Greece. "I swear someone is going to tell me to shut up at some point. I see a tree, and I'm like, `Hey guys, look at the Olympic tree!' But seriously, it's amazing. I had no idea how huge the village would be. The dining hall is bigger than my high school."
2003 in Review
Santa Clara advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the ninth straight year and finished a successful season ranked third in the country with a 14-4-6 record. Santa Clara fell to eventual champion and top-seeded North Carolina. Santa Clara advanced through the tournament with wins over ranked opponents Stanford (1-0) and Arizona State (1-0), and a third round shoot-out against defending College Cup Champions, and West Coast Conference rivals, Portland (0-0, 4-2 PKs).
The Broncos, the 2001 National Champions and 2002 College Cup finalists, were the tournament's ninth overall seed and were making their 15th straight NCAA postseason appearance. SCU received the WCC's automatic berth into the Tournament after winning its third straight league championship on November 8. The Broncos have advanced to the College Cup on nine occasions.
SCU Named One of Best Values in the West by U.S. News & World Report
For the 15th year in a row, Santa Clara was ranked second among 124 master's universities in the West by the U.S. News and World Report. In an additional ranking listing "great schools at great prices" in four regions across the country, U.S. News ranked SCU second in the West region. To determine which institutions offer the best value, the magazine uses a formula that relates a school's academic quality to the net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of financial aid. The Western region includes all colleges and universities from Colorado to the West Coast, including Texas.
Additional highlights from the 2005 U.S. News rankings include:
SCU had the highest average graduation rate -- 82 percent
SCU had the highest average freshman retention rate -- 92 percent
SCU had the second highest peer assessment score -- 4.0
SCU had one of the highest average alumni giving rates -- 24 percent
The magazine's rankings relied on academic reputation, graduation rates, class size, percent of full-time faculty, student/faculty ratios, retention of students, student test scores and grades, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving. Complete rankings are on the U.S. News web site, www.usnews.com.