No. 19 Santa Clara Set To Take On Top-Ranked Stanford at Buck Shaw

SANTA CLARA, Calif.  No. 19 Santa Clara women's soccer (3-0-4) only plays one game this week and it's a big one! The 2010 national runner-up No. 1 Stanford (6-0-1), will travel to the Mission Campus for a rematch of a 2010 NCAA second round game that took place on Sun., Nov. 14 at Stanford. The Broncos game against the Cardinal will be at 8 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 18 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Tickets are available by calling the Bronco Ticket Office at (408) 554-4660 or via email at BroncoTickets@scu.edu.

The last time the two teams met in the regular season in Santa Clara was a 6-2 Cardinal victory in 2009. At the time Stanford was ranked No. 2 in the country and on its way to the College Cup finals.

WEEKEND NOTES:
**Jerry Smith is in his 25th season as SCU head coach (372-116-42)
**Santa Clara is 206-34-21 all-time at Buck Shaw Stadium
**The Broncos are 18-15-7 all-time against Stanford
**Santa Clara is 11-8-3 at home against Stanford
**Santa Clara defeated Stanford during the 2011 spring season by a score of 2-1
**The last time Santa Clara was unbeaten through its first seven games of the season was in 2007 when they started 7-0-1
**The Broncos have tied four matches in a row, a first for the program
**The last time Santa Clara tied as many as four matches in a season was 2003 when they tied six
**Santa Clara is one of 18 undefeated teams in Division I and one of eight top-20 unbeaten's
**All-time the Broncos have beaten the No. 1 team in country four times and tied once
**Goalkeeper Bianca Henninger has been added to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List
**Hennigner has also been nominated for the 2011 Lowe's Senior Class Award
**The Broncos are scheduled to play five teams ranked in the NSCAA Top 25
**SCU returns six players named to the WCC's 2010 all-conference teams
**Bianca Henninger and Marguerritte Aozasa have been named team co-captains 

STANFORD: Coming into the match with Santa Clara, Stanford is ranked No. 1 in the country. After back-to-back College Cup runner-up finishes the Cardinal hope take the next step and capture a national championship in 2011.

Stanford is led on offense by Lindsay Taylor who has six goals and two assists for a total of 14 points to lead the team. Chioma Ubogagu has added four goals and four assists to rank second on the team with 12 points. Nine different Cardinal have scored a goal and 16 different players have registered at least one point.

AGAINST THE BEST: Santa Clara women's soccer has collected four victories and one tie in the program's history when playing the nation's top-ranked team. The last Bronco victory against the top team came on Sept. 9, 2005 against Notre Dame by a final of 2-1 in Santa Clara. The last time the Broncos faced Stanford when they were No. 1 was on Oct. 5, 2007 at Buck Shaw Stadium. That game ended in a 0-0 tie.

PARITY IN WOMEN'S SOCCER: With Santa Clara's tie against Notre Dame on Sun., Sept. 11 the Broncos have now tied four straight matches. This is a first for the program in its 31-year history and the first time they have tied as many as two in a row since Sept. 21 and 25 2008 against Yale and UCLA. Both of those games were 0-0. The last time Santa Clara tied as many as four games in a season was in 2003 when the team finished 14-4-6 and advanced to the national quarterfinals.

"What's happening in the women's soccer game in my 25 years is that there is a lot more parity," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith. "It's just a lot harder to win games. If you look at anybody's winning percentage, in the last few years as compared to the last 10 or 15 years, I guarantee you everyone's is down. Notre Dame's is down, North Carolina's is down – everybody's is down. It's harder to win games for even a team as good as Stanford, they already have a tie vs. Maryland."

SCU HEAD COACH JERRY SMITH: SCU Head Coach Jerry Smith enters his 25th season at the helm of the Santa Clara women's soccer program in 2011. 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 369-116-38 (.705). 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.

FRESHMAN REPEAT: For the second year in a row the Broncos will have the defending WCC Freshman of the Year on their team. Julie Johnston won the award in 2010, starting 16 games and totaling 1,519 minutes. She led the team with five assists and added two goals to total nine points. Allie Vernon was named co-Freshman of the Year in 2009 as she helped the Broncos advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

HENNINGER UP FOR MAJOR AWARDS: Preparing for what will be a stellar season, senior goalkeeper Bianca Henninger has been named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List as well as nominated for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.

Henninger has a 3.4 GPA as an accounting major and was named to the 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team. Henninger has also been selected to the WCC All-Academic Team twice and the WCC Commissioner's List three times. She has also worked extensively with BAWSI whose goal is to get elementary school girls outside and moving. She was part of the BAWSI Sportspalooza in Spring 2011.

On the field Henninger was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2010 and was a 2010 All-America selection. In addition to being All-WCC in 2010 she was named to the preseason All-WCC team in 2011. In 2010 she collected eight shutouts with a 0.63 GAA and led the WCC with 90 saves and a .865 save percentage.

SISTER SISTER: The 2011 Broncos feature a set of sisters in sophomore midfielder Ellie Rice and freshman forward Brooke Rice. The Rice sisters grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and both played club soccer for the Utah Avalanche. They have a third sister, Nicole, who currently plays soccer at the University of Wyoming.

"It's like having your best friend around all the time," said Brooke on what it's like to be on the same team as her sister. "There is someone on the field who can criticize you and knows your game so well that they can help you all the time."

If the season-opener is an indication of what the Rice girls do when they are on the same team then Bronco fans are in for a treat. Ellie scored both goals in the Broncos' 2-1 victory over cross-town rival San Jose State on Aug. 19. Rice's performance landed her on TopDrawerSoccer.com's Women's College Team of the Week for the week of Aug. 16.

NATIONALLY RANKED:  Santa Clara enters the week ranked 19th in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

2011 NSCAA TOP 20 (As of Sept. 13, 2011)
1. Stanford*
2. Oklahoma State
3. Florida State
4. UCLA
5. Duke
6. Maryland
7. North Carolina
8. Marquette
9. Florida
10 Pepperdine*
11. Memphis
12. Notre Dame*
13. Wake Forest
14. Virginia
15. UC Irvine*
16. Tennessee
17. Wisconsin-Milwaukee
18. Boston College
19. Santa Clara
20. Central Florida
*Santa Clara opponents in 2011 

2011 WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Portland - 61 (6)
2. Santa Clara - 53 (2)
2. BYU - 53 (1)
4. San Diego - 47
5. LMU - 33
6. Pepperdine - 31
7. Saint Mary's - 20
8. Gonzaga - 13
8. San Francisco - 13
(First place votes - rankings by NSCAA) 

2011 WCC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE
Cloee Colohan, Portland
Danielle Foxhoven, Portland
Natalie Garcia, San Diego
Bianca Henninger, Santa Clara
Kendall Johnson, Portland
Julie Johnston, Santa Clara
Olivia Klei, Santa Clara
Jordan Marada, Saint Mary's
Tawni Martino, LMU
Stephanie Ochs, San Diego
Michelle Pao, Pepperdine
Carlee Payne, BYU 

QUOTABLE: "The Santa Clara and Stanford match has always been a great match," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith. "Recently, Stanford has gotten the better of us by knocking us out each of the last two years in the NCAA tournament. Over the history of the rivalry it certainly has gone back and forth and that's what makes it a rivalry. We've won our share of regular season and NCAA tournament matches against them. I think this year is going to be another great match. They're undefeated and we're undefeated and we look forward to the challenge of playing the best of the best. We're also looking forward to playing at home with our students coming back into town. I expect several thousand fans to show up at the match so I expect great energy, great play from both teams and great drama in the match. For both teams it will allow us to understand where we are a third of the way through the season and what we need to work on so that when we get to the NCAA tournament we'll be well prepared to win those matches."

BRONCOS WELCOME TOP FIVE RECRUITING CLASS: The Santa Clara women's soccer recruiting class of 2015 was recognized as the fourth-best nationally, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. By welcoming in nine freshmen the returning players and coaches know that it will take a total team effort to make the new players feel at home. "We're excited about the challenge of coming together as a new team," said Smith. "That's what preseason is about: working together and coming together. We know that if we put in the work and find a way to come together, we will enjoy a wonderful payoff at the end of the season." The class features both attacking players who will help with the loss of three starting forwards and players who can excel at several different positions.

BRONCOS ADVANCE INTO NCAA'S SECOND ROUND: After beating defending Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State 1-0 and defending WAC champion San Jose State 2-1 to open the 2010 the Bronco women, who finished the 2010 season ranked No. 19, were awarded for their fantastic season by once again playing in the NCAA College Cup tournament. They beat Long Beach State by a score of 1-0 in the first round but fell to Stanford for the second straight year. Stanford went on to the championship game but ended up losing for the second consecutive year.