August 26, 2009

No. 19 Santa Clara Takes On Utah Friday Night

Aug. 26, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's soccer team heads into a Friday night road match against Utah at 7:30 p.m having moved up three spots to No. 19 in the NSCAA top-25 poll after earning two shutout victories over San Jose State (4-0) and UC Santa Barbara (2-0). The contest is the only one on the weekend for the Broncos, whose next matches will be the following weekend on the East Coast against Maryland and Georgetown.

SCOUTING THE UTES
Utah is 2-0-0 after dropping Utah Valley 6-0 and Cal State Fullerton 3-1, and received votes in this week's SoccerTimes.com Top 25 Coaches' Poll. The Utes are receiving votes for the first time since also receiving votes in the final poll of the 2007 season. The last time Utah broke through to the Top 25 in the SoccerTimes.com poll was a No. 21 ranking in the final poll of the 2006 season. They finished No. 23 in the final NSCAA rankings that year.

Senior Kelly Isleib leads the Utes in goals (2), points (6), and is tied for the lead in assists with two, while sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Turpen has only surrendered one goal, a penalty kick, to her opponents.

HISTORY WITH UTAH
Santa Clara and the Utes have only met once before in 2006 when Utah suffered a 1-0 loss in the Santa Clara adidas Classic to the Broncos. Defender Hillary Schwarzbach knocked in her first collegiate goal to seal the victory after the Broncos fired 16 shots on goalkeeper Ashley Mason.

FAMILIAR FACES
Head coach Jerry Smith will face off against former Santa Clara assistant coach Rich Manning, who took over the head position for the Utes in 2002. Manning, who coached for four years (1998-2001) under the guidance of Smith was instrumental in helping Santa Clara win its national title in 2001. Manning is also a former Bronco student-athlete, playing for the men's side from 1982-1986, captaining the squad his senior year.

OFFENSE FIRING
Santa Clara scored six goals in just two games, with five coming in the run of play and one successful penalty kick. The Broncos are holding a .194 cumulative shooting percentage and have had six different goal scorers.

FRESHMEN MAKING AN IMPACT
Three players from this year's freshmen class, which was ranked the season's top recruiting class by Top Drawer Soccer have already registered a goal, and rookie Amanda Webster currently shares the role of point leader with redshirt senior Jordan Angeli and junior Maxine Goynes, who all have a goal and an assist apiece.

STINGY DEFENSE
In it's first two games of the year, the Bronco defense has only allowed one total shot on goal, helping sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Henninger earn her first two collegiate shutouts. Henninger also picked up her first career assist on the team's fourth goal against San Jose State by clearing the Spartan back line with her punt.

FOLLOW THE BRONCOS ONLINE
For fans who cannot attend the match in Utah, Gametracker live scoring will be available.

WCC PRESEASON POLL
The Santa Clara women have been picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference in the annual preseason poll and are aiming to return to the NCAA Tournament for the 20th time under head coach Jerry Smith, who is currently 344-102-34 while at the helm of the Broncos.

ON DECK
Following Friday's match, Santa Clara will travel to the East Coast for Labor Day weekend to take on Maryland and Georgetown before returning for the Santa Clara Classic on Sept. 11-13.