Sept. 16, 2005
By Amy Moraczewski
The first time Jordan Angeli met Marian Dalmy, they were going to a Broncos game. However, it was a Denver Broncos football game. But nonetheless, the Broncos were their first connection, and now the Broncos, the Santa Clara Broncos, continue to strengthen that bond.
Marian began playing club soccer with Jordan's older sister, Ashley, at age eleven, and the three of them have been close friends ever since. Marian and Jordan first became teammates when Jordan entered high school five years ago, where they played together as forwards. Their chemistry on the field led to many goals for their team, although they may have been motivated by the fact that when the team was winning by numerous goals, they were substituted and permitted to sit on the bench and eat candy throughout the remainder of the game.
When it came time for Jordan to make a college decision, she first considered attending a school where no one knew her, but after visiting Santa Clara University, she knew she would feel at home playing with Marian again. In spite of any "freshman nerves," Jordan quickly adapted to college soccer, an adjustment made easier with Marian's support. Marian acted as an older sister to Jordan, which is exactly what Ashley had asked Marian to do.
Although Jordan's mother, Lindy, was a bit surprised by Jordan's decision to attend school in California since she had always preferred to be at home, she says, "I was not that nervous because Marian was here, and I knew that she would look out for Jordan and help her along, which she did. And once she got here, everyone was so welcoming. It's such a great place. I know that Jordan made the best choice."
Knowing that Jordan was nervous and perhaps slightly intimidated coming into such a strong program, Marian made it her personal responsibility to help Jordan mentally, both on and off the field. One of Jordan's more difficult challenges was her conversion to defender, but this transition was made easier when Marian joined her in the back midway through the season. Both players are willing to play anywhere on the field and have proven that they are capable of excelling at any position.
At the beginning of this season, Jordan returned to her natural position as a forward, and she credits her teammates for her successful adjustment. "I have good teachers. I learn from the other forwards, what runs to make and when to make them," says Angeli. Clearly, Jordan has been a good student of these teachers, because she is currently leading the team in goals and points, with four goals and nine points.
Although Jordan played well as a defender last season, and Marian has always been a strong attacker, Dalmy believes that their new roles on the team are more suitable. "I see it as a real positive for the team. She has the ability to score, and she is really composed in front of the goal."
With the attacking nature of Dalmy's position as an outside defender, she is able to get forward on the field and use her past knowledge of Angeli's habits to read her game. "I think it helps our team chemistry," Dalmy states. "People see how we do things together, and we build off of that. I know her tendencies; sometimes she doesn't even have to say anything, and I know where she is running."
Marian and Jordan have emerged as strong leaders for the team early this season, with co-captain Dalmy as a co-captain anchoring the SCU defense that has yet to allow an offensive goal during the run of play, and Angeli leading the team in goals. "We both just try to lead by example and work hard in practice," says Angeli. "Knowing each other for so long, we are able to demand a lot out of each other because we know what we are capable of, and I think this encourages everyone to demand the best from their teammates."
Neither Marian nor Jordan has seen much of the bench this season, meaning they have to wait until after the game to eat their candy. But regardless of whether they are on or off the field, their strong bond contributes positively to the team, because they have been Broncos since the day they met.
Together, Angeli and Dalmy account for five of the seven Bronco goals scored in the first five games of the season. Dalmy was named to the ACC/WCC Challenge All-Tournament Team at Wake Forest, and Angeli has been collecting awards since last weekend, beginning with the Most Valuable Player award at the Santa Clara Adidas Classic. She has also been named WCC Player of the Week and Soccer America National Player of the Week, in addition to making the National Team of the Week for Soccer America, Soccer Buzz, and Top Drawer Soccer.
Dalmy and Angeli have helped lead the Broncos to their best start since 1999 and hope to continue this success as they take on two challenging games this weekend. They host No. 6 UCLA at Buck Shaw Stadium on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. Santa Clara then travels to Berkeley to face off against No. 8 California Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.