October 8, 2008

Women's Soccer to Open Up Conference Play Versus No. 20 USD

Oct. 8, 2008

This Week for Bronco Women's Soccer
The Santa Clara women's soccer team opens up conference play this weekend at home versus the No. 20 Toreros of the University of San Diego. This will be the first week for the Broncos that they have not had multiple games in a week, as they have had in the non-conference schedule leading up to this point.

Last Week for Women's Soccer
The Broncos took on another set of Pac-10 opponents this past weekend, in then No. 6 Stanford and Arizona. Santa Clara conceded both matches at home, but look to bounce back from the losses after a long week off from play to recuperate.

On Friday, Oct. 3, SCU dropped a 5-0 decision to the Cardinal of Stanford. The Broncos opened up the game firing the ball at Stanford's goal, but could not get a solid shot off to reach the back of the net. Courtney Lewis got her first start of the season at midfield and had SCU's first shot at the 37 second mark of play, but it was blocked off a Cardinal player. Seconds later Lindsey Johnson attempted to create another offensive opportunity for the Broncos, but her shot was saved by Stanford's keeper Kira Maker. Minutes later, Katherine Reynolds had Santa Clara's best chance of the evening to get on the board, but held onto the ball for a second too long, giving Maker a chance to get composed and make her second straight save.

The Broncos kept pace with the undefeated Cardinal for much of the first half, despite being down 2-0 at the end of 45 minutes; however Stanford ran away with the game, notching three more goals in the Silicon Valley Super Classico match in the second half. Stanford's Lindsay Taylor scored back-to-back goals in the first half, and followed that up with a third goal in 54th minute of the second half. Sophomore Christen Press opened up scoring in the second half off a Kelley O'Hara cross. Concluding the scoring run for Stanford was Kristin Stannard, who got the Cardinal on the board for the fifth and final time.

Santa Clara concluded the 2008 non-conference schedule going toe-to-toe with Arizona. The unranked Wildcats made it a quick 1-0 game just seven seconds in with an angled shot to the right corner. Renae Cuellar made a dash down the right side taking a shot from the far side of the box. However, Santa Clara keeper McCray blocked the shot, reflecting it back into the nearside of the box and to the feet of Jasmine Namdar. Namdar chipped it in for goal No. 1 of the game. Santa Clara then earned possession and sent the ball up the field to freshman Margueritte Aozasa who attempted the Broncos' first shot of the game. It was block by Arizona's keeper Chelsea Mcintyre. The ball bounced back to midfielder Courtney Lewis who, six seconds later, tried to even the match with her own shot up the middle. Yet, that attempt was blocked by a Wildcat defender.

It wasn't until the 88th minute that the Wildcats scored again. Leila Amini successfully completed a free kick to widened Arizona's lead to 2-0. Bosio, Lewis and Anessa Patton all tried to get Santa Clara on the scoreboard in the second half as the Broncos outshot the Wildcats, 6-4.

It was the Bronco's defense that really stepped up in the match, holding off the Wildcats for 87 minutes. With Aozasa and Dani Potts controlling the center back, head coach Jerry Smith was able to try a few different combinations on the outsides. Redshirt sophomore Lindsey Johnson really stepped up for the Broncos as did co-captain Katherine Reynolds and McCray.

Follow the Game Online
Every Santa Clara home game and most road games are covered live on the Internet via www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. All home games will also feature a live audio broadcast as well.

Bronco Blogs
Check out forward tri-captain Kiki Bosio's women's soccer blog. Bosio will keep fans updated as the season progresses. It can be found on the Santa Clara Broncos official website - www.SantaClaraBroncos.com.

SCU Kicks Off Conference Play
The Broncos kick off WCC conference play this weekend versus No. 20 USD. With the conclusion of non-conference play, the Broncos will be on a regimented schedule along with the other teams in the league. All teams will play the same number of games in a week and have equal time between games. This will give the Broncos an advantage, as throughout non-conference play they were traditionally playing two games a week, while many opponents only had one game a week, which allowed their players to rest and be better prepared for action.

Anselmo Makes Bronco Debut
Sophomore Lauren Anselmo made her Bronco debut on Friday, Oct. 3 versus Stanford, playing 18 minutes at defender. Anselmo has close Santa Clara ties, as she is the second known mother-daughter pair to have played on the Santa Clara women's soccer team. Her mother, Debbie (Hagan) Anselmo was a member of the team in the late 1980's and graduated in 1986. She also saw minutes in the Arizona game on Oct. 5.

Broncos Have Faced Eight Ranked Programs
Undeniably, the Broncos have had a very challenging schedule this season facing eight ranked opponents in 13 games, six of which were in the top-10 at the time of the game. Their schedule does not let up, as conference action begins. This weekend they will take on No. 20 USD and they will face the University of Portland in Portland, Ore. live on ESPNU on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 1:30 p.m. The Pilots, have monopolized the upper-half of the rankings this season and round out the top-three in the NSCAA poll.

Back in the Lineup
For the first time this season, Santa Clara will be able to reach deep into its roster, as all the active players are healthy and ready for action. Redshirt senior Jordan Angeli and redshirt junior Amanda Poach will remain out for the season, but players like Courtney Lewis and Lauren Anslemo, who had missed the beginning half of the season are back and in full swing. Freshman Jenny LaPonte, who suffered a broken nose at then No. 23 California, has been a consistent contributor is ready for substantial minutes going into this weekend's action. The Broncos were also given extra days off this week by head coach Jerry Smith, in hopes that a relaxed and rejuvenated squad would be ready to take on the second half of the demanding schedule.

Scouting No. 20 University of San Diego
The Toreros of San Diego (7-3-2), drop down a spot from No. 19 to No. 20 this week, after falling 3-0 to then No. 3 UCLA. The Bruins outshot USD 20-9, and three different UCLA player's saw the back of the net in the shutout. USD's keeper Brittany Cameron played the entire 90 minutes, posting eight saves in the contest hosted in Los Angeles.

A week ago, Santa Clara hosted UCLA to a 0-0 double overtime draw. The Broncos kept the then No. 2 Bruins out of the net for 110 minutes. Before heading to Northern California, USD will face Long Beach State on Wednesday, Oct. 8 in Long Beach at 3 p.m.

Leading the Toreros as of Oct. 7, is senior Jen Mello who has played in all 12 games this season at forward. She has scored seven goals and posted one assists, leading the team with 15 points. Right behind Mello, is redshirt senior Amy Epsten who has also led the attacking force at forward with three goals and three assists. In the box, senior Brittany Cameron has played in six contests this season for the veteran squad, posting a 3-3-2.

On Deck
The Broncos continue conference play next week, when they host St. Mary's on Friday Oct. 17, at 7 p.m., followed by San Francisco on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m.