SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Ranked ninth in the nation, Santa Clara University's women's soccer team begins the 2010 season this weekend on its home field at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos will host San Diego State University Friday, August 20 at 7 p.m. and local rival San Jose State Sunday, August 22 at 1 p.m. Both SDSU and SJSU won their respective conference championships last season.
No. 9 Santa Clara (14-7-2; 5-2-0 WCC – in 2009) is firmly
established as one of the NCAA's top soccer programs, having made
10 College Cup Final Four appearances under the guidance of head
coach Jerry Smith. The 2010 team returns seven starters from
last year's team that advanced into the third round of the NCAA
"Our expectation is to finish in the top ten," said Smith, who won a National Championship at Santa Clara in 2001. "To do that, health is going to be a big factor. If we stay healthy we will have a good shot at it. Another big key for us this year will be leadership. Will our leaders be able to lead us in the toughest games on our schedule, in crunch time? That remains to be seen. That's one of the big question marks, in terms of our team being able to reach its full potential. So we are excited to see how that works."
The weekend matches promise to offer an immediate test. San
Diego State won the Mountain West Conference last season,
qualifying for the NCAA tournament. San Jose State won 11 games a
year ago, which included a 14-match unbeaten streak.
**Jerry Smith is in his 24th season as SCU head coach (356-109-36)
**Santa Clara is 206-34-20 all-time at Buck Shaw Stadium
**The Broncos have won five straight season-openers and are 5-0-2 in their last seven
**Under Smith the Broncos are 14-3-3 during the month of August
**SCU has never lost to San Diego State (5-0-1) or San Jose State (14-0)
**The Broncos defeated SJSU 4-0 in last year's season-opener
**The last meeting with San Diego State was in 2001 (a 2-0 SCU victory)
**SDSU was 15-4-5 last season and won the Mountain West Conference title
**SJSU finished 11-6-3 in 2009, going 5-1-2 against the WAC en route to claiming the league's regular season title
**Goalkeeper Bianca Henninger is a candidate for the 2010 MAC Hermann Trophy
**The Broncos are scheduled to play six teams ranked in the NSCAA Top 25
**SCU returns six players named to the WCC's 2009 all-conference teams
**Allie Vernon, Kendra Perry, Lindsey Johnson and Bianca Henninger have been named team co-captains
**Bronco greats Brandi Chastain and Aly Wagner have been added to the coaching staff for 2010
BUY TICKETS: Santa Clara's 2010-11 athletic schedule begins when its nationally-ranked women's soccer program opens the 2010 season with matches Fri., Aug. 20 (vs. San Diego State at 7 p.m.) and Sun., Aug. 22 (vs. San Jose State at 1 p.m.). Season tickets for both men's and women's soccer programs start at $50 for adults and $25 for youth and seniors. To buy tickets online CLICK HERE, or visit the Leavey Center ticket office (500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif.) or by calling directly at 408-554-4660.
AUTOGRAPHS/POSTERS: 2010 schedule posters will be given out FREE to all fans in attendance Friday and Sunday. After the game, fans can have those posters signed by the Bronco student-athletes during a post-game autograph session at the entrance plaza.
SCU HEAD COACH JERRY SMITH: SCU Head Coach Jerry Smith enters his 24th season at the helm of the Santa Clara women's soccer program in 2010. Although he is most known for the development of his players and teams, Smith also produces success and is easily the winningest women's soccer coach in Santa Clara history, having compiled a record of 356-109-36 (.747) – in fact Smith ranks among the top-5 winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history. Since taking over the head coaching duties at Santa Clara in the spring of 1987, Smith has built the Bronco soccer program into a national power. For 19 consecutive seasons, his Broncos reached the NCAA Tournament prior to 2008 and have consistently ranked among the top 10 teams in the country. He has taken the Broncos to 10 College Cup Final Fours and a national championship in 2001. In addition, his Bronco teams have won nine West Coast Conference titles.
INSIDE THE TOP 10: Santa Clara will enter the 2010 season ranked ninth in the nation according to the preseason poll released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
PRESEASON TOP 10
1. North Carolina
4. Notre Dame*
6. Florida State
7. Boston College
8. Texas A&M
9. Santa Clara
10. Wake Forest
*Santa Clara opponents in 2010
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. #5 Portland - 49 (7)
2. #9 Santa Clara - 41.5 (1)
3. San Diego - 38.5
4. Pepperdine – 27
5. Loyola Marymount – 26
6. Saint Mary's – 19
7. Gonzaga – 12
8. San Francisco - 11
(First place votes - rankings by NSCAA)
Kendra Chandhoke, Portland
Danielle Foxhoven, Portland
Julie Gallaudet, Loyola Marymount
Bianca Henniger, Santa Clara
Sheridan Jones, Gonzaga
Stephanie Ochs, San Diego
Sophie Schmidt, Portland
Michelle Spacciapolli, Pepperdine
Allie Vernon, Santa Clara
Keelin Winters, Portland
Jackie Zinke, San Diego
HENNINGER ADDED TO MAC HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST: Santa Clara University junior goalkeeper Bianca Henninger has been named to the 2010 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Women's Hermann Trophy Watch List, as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Henninger is one of just five goalkeepers among the 45 players selected for the award's preseason watch list. The honor is considered the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer. The recipients are selected by NCAA Division I coaches who are members of the NSCAA.
QUOTABLE: "It is going to take a lot of hard work, dedication, and trust in each other and the coaches," said Anessa Patton about what it will take to be successful in 2010. "We are capable of it though … we have to make sure that we are all on the same page. That means that our veterans and returners are going to have to reach out, that much more, to welcome the 12 freshmen that we have coming in."
FIVE BRONCOS TAKEN IN 2010 WPS DRAFT: Five SCU women's soccer players (four from the Broncos' 2009 roster) were selected in the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer league (WPS) Draft. Jordan Angeli (Boston Breakers – 16th overall), Kiki Bosio (Los Angeles Sol – 22nd overall), Amanda Poach (St. Louis Athletica – 28th overall), Katherine Reynolds (Boston Breakers - #34 overall) and Meagan Snell (Sky Blue FC – 44th overall).
BRONCOS ADVANCE INTO NCAA'S THIRD ROUND: After an early-season 2-0 win vs. No. 5 Notre Dame, the Bronco women, who finished the 2009 season ranked No. 10, were awarded for their fantastic play by once again playing in the NCAA College Cup tournament. They beat Michigan State and Oklahoma State at home in the first two rounds. Both games ended in penalty kicks. They ended their season with a battle at No. 1 Stanford, losing 1-0 to the eventual national runner-ups.