Aug. 30, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The last two times the Santa Clara University women's soccer team played in North Carolina, there were mixed results.
Last November, the Broncos traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C. to face the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels and escaped with a 1-0 overtime victory. The win was the fourth for Santa Clara in the last five matchups between the two teams and knocked the Tar Heels out of the tournament on their home field for the first time ever. It also prevented UNC from advancing to the College Cup for the first time in the 23-year history of the NCAA Championships.
After defeating Illinois a week later in the NCAA quarterfinals, Santa Clara returned to the Old North State for a College Cup semifinal match against Notre Dame in Cary, N.C. The Fighting Irish scored on a counterattack goal in the 73rd minute to knock the Broncos out of championship contention.
On Friday, fifth-ranked Santa Clara will play in the state of North Carolina for the third time in its last five matches when it travels to Winston-Salem, N.C. for the Wake Forest ACC/WCC Challenge at W. Dennie Spry Stadium on the WFU campus.
The Broncos will play 17th-ranked Wake Forest at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) in a match that will be preceded by the University of San Diego versus Virginia Tech. On Sunday, Santa Clara will play the Hokies at 8:30 a.m. (Pacific), while Wake Forest hosts San Diego.
Each game of the event will feature live Gametracker coverage on SantaClaraBroncos.com.
"We routinely try to put these types of games on our schedule," said head coach Jerry Smith, who is 295-73-24 in his 19th season at Santa Clara. "At this point in the season, we tend to play games that will be a challenge for our team in difficult environments in which to play. The last time we played at Wake Forest in 2001, we won the match but they outplayed us. The lessons we learned from that trip ultimately helped us as we went on to win the national championship.
"Wake Forest and Virginia Tech are NCAA tournament quality teams that will be looking to expose our weaknesses. They are both strong programs and will present unique challenges to our team, particularly this early in the season.
Don't miss one of the top games in the country Sept. 9 when Santa Clara hosts top-ranked Notre Dame in a rematch of last year's NCAA semifinals. click here for tickets.
The Broncos enter Friday's game with a 1-0-0 record after defeating Arizona State by a 2-0 score Friday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. Reserve forward Elyse Shelger assisted on goals by Tina Estrada and Jordan Angeli less than three minutes apart in the second half to provide the margin of victory.
Wake Forest is 2-0-0 on the season following a 4-1 home victory over UNC Wilmington on Friday and a 5-1 drubbing at Davidson on Sunday. The Demon Deacons are led by junior forward Elizabeth Remy, who scored twice and served five assists in the two games. Seven other WFU players scored in the team's first two games.
Sunday's match against Virginia Tech (1-0-1) will feature a unique matchup of sisters Shannon and Amanda Poach. Natives of Bowie, Md., the match will most likely be the only time the two sisters will be able to face each other as collegians, unless Santa Clara and the Hokies have a NCAA tournament matchup.
Shannon, a senior midfielder, is in a seven-way tie for sixth on the Virginia Tech career list for assists with seven. She served a corner kick that was converted by Ashley Stinson for the game-winner in a 1-0 win at American last weekend.
Amanda, a freshman, played all 90 minutes at the midfield position in Santa Clara's home win over Arizona State.
"It will be interesting to see how Amanda and Shannon handle such a unique situation," said Smith. "The only time I can remember something like this happening at Santa Clara was when Jacqui Little played against her sister Skyler when we faced UCLA in the NCAA Tournament. It was really difficult for them to compete against each other. There are additional distractions and that makes it tough on everyone in the family."
Santa Clara returns home Sept. 9 for a rematch with top-ranked Notre Dame at Buck Shaw Stadium in the adidas Classic. Tickets are available by calling 408/554-4660 or by clicking here.