Oct. 26, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A big weekend is in store for the No. 4 Santa Clara women's soccer team as this Sunday's 1 p.m. match against the San Francisco Dons at Buck Shaw Stadium contains multiple storylines. First, the Broncos will be battling to remain in first place in the West Coast Conference, and second, Sunday will mark Senior Day, the final regular-season home match for 10 SCU seniors.
Tickets for Sunday's match are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by clicking here.
Sunday's match is crucial to Santa Clara's fortunes, as the team is currently tied with Pepperdine and Portland atop the WCC standings. With a win over the Dons (5-11-2, 1-3-1 WCC), the Broncos will be guaranteed to be in at least a two-way tie for the conference lead, as the Waves and Pilots meet at 2:30 p.m. that very day, ensuring that one of those two teams will fall out of the three-team logjam.
The contest will also mark the final regular-season home match for 10 Bronco seniors. Goalkeeper Julie Ryder, defenders Marian Dalmy, Casey Pleas, Carrie Schuler, Hillary Schwarzbach, and Lauren Zealear, midfielders Kelly Giddings and Tiffany Roberts, and forwards Bonnie Bowman and Elyse Shelger will all be honored prior to the match for their contributions to the success of Santa Clara women's soccer.
"Senior Day is a special day for my staff and me as well as for the entire program," said head coach Jerry Smith. "By virtue of being seniors on our team, they train every week with and against our players and they will be ready for the match. I'm looking forward to the match and I know that the seniors are especially looking forward to being recognized with their parents and a brief tribute to their careers."
Last week, the Broncos (13-3-1, 3-1-1 WCC) exploded offensively, starting things off by storming back from an early one-goal deficit to defeat the No. 7 Portland Pilots 3-2 in a nationally-televised match last Thursday night. After conceding an early goal, SCU scored three unanswered goals, a penalty kick by Dalmy, Meagan Snell's 11th of the year, and a highlight-reel run through the Portland back line by Kiki Bosio that resulted in the eventual game-winner. Bosio, for her efforts, was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week and to the National Teams of the Week for Soccer America and Soccer Buzz.
"Our team typically starts to get a little better as we pull through to the end of the season, so it's nice to see them continue to improve from an attacking standpoint," Smith said of last weekend's offensive outburst. "I felt very good about our ability to create chances, this is where we would like to be."
San Francisco comes into town riding some momentum after knocking off Pepperdine 2-0 last week at home. That win was preceded the week prior with a 1-1 tie at Portland, so the Dons have earned a recent reputation for giving the WCC's top teams a stern test. Junior forward Fiona O'Sullivan leads the Dons with five goals on the year, while Chelsea Hunt's 12 points (four goals, four assists) pace the squad.
"Our conference is tough from top to bottom, and not only did San Francisco beat Pepperdine 2-0 last Sunday, but the week before they tied Portland on the road, which is very difficult to do," Smith noted. "USF is going to be a very tough team to play, so its very important for our shot to win the conference championship to keep our momentum going forward with a good result on Sunday."
Following Sunday's match, the Broncos hit the road for the final two matches of the 2006 regular season, traveling to Berkeley on Wednesday, Nov. 1 for a midweek match at Cal, and closing WCC play at Saint Mary's on Saturday, Nov. 4.