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Ten years ago, in Dallas, Texas, the Santa Clara University women's soccer team defeated powerhouse North Carolina 1-0 to capture the program's first national championship. Emma Borst (EB) was a member of that historic Bronco team and SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) recently caught up with her to talk about her memories of the season and what she has been doing since her time on the Mission Campus.
SCB: What have you been up to recently?
EB: Chasing around our 19-month old son and baking our next baby.
SCB: Are you still involved in soccer?
EB: I married a college soccer coach, so I still find myself very much in the soccer scene, albeit in a supportive/spectator role at this point. I still play here and there when there's an opportunity, but where we currently live there aren't many options. I miss playing regularly.
SCB: What was your fondest memory of your experience with the national championship team?
EB: That entire Final Four weekend. It was just a thrill from start to finish.
SCB: What do you think was so special about that group?
EB: I think we had all the pieces in place that year - special players, good leadership, good experience, everyone on board and focused on the same goals no matter what their roles were. And Ynez Carrasco, our unreal SCU volleyball superstar-turned-goalkeeper-for-the-first-time-in-her-life team member. Maybe every team needs a Ynez.
SCB: How would you describe the team chemistry on that 2001 team?
EB: I don't think you can win a national championship without great team chemistry. That's not to say that every one of us was super close with each other, but I think we all genuinely appreciated and respected what each and every one of us brought to the team.
SCB: How would you describe the moment when the final buzzer went off and you were a national champion?
EB: Really excited, but also, relief. I remember it felt like the clock took forever to run down. And it was the first time Santa Clara had gotten to the final after something like seven semi-final finishes, so it was just a relief knowing that not only did we get past that semi-final hurdle, but we made it all the way.
SCB: What was the atmosphere like upon returning to Santa Clara after the game?
EB: I remember pulling up in the vans from the airport right in front of the Mission Church and a large gathering was there to welcome us home with banners and balloons. It was really nice to see the support from our school and community.
SCB: What do you miss most about playing for Santa Clara?
EB: I miss the close relationships I developed with some of my teammates and that feeling of working hard towards a goal as a group.