SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With spring season over and enjoying some much needed time away from the field, Santa Clara women's soccer announced its three Spring Forward Award winners May 11. The three winners were sophomores Cali Reis and Nikki Ambrose and freshman Katie Speidel.
The Spring Forward Awards are voted on by the players and the top-three vote-getters are honored. The players vote on who showed the greatest work ethic, put the team first and improved the most over the winter and spring quarters.
"We started the Spring Forward Awards in 2005 and we have a plaque with all the names of the award winners up in our soccer offices," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith who will be entering his 25th season at Santa Clara in 2012. "The criteria for these awards are: great improvement, work-ethic and commitment to team over the winter and spring. Our team has had a wonderful winter and spring and these three players have distinguished themselves as the most deserving players amongst a great group of players."
Santa Clara had a very successful spring season as it went 5-0 for the second straight year. The Broncos beat 2011 NCAA Tournament participant Cal, the semi-professional Sacramento Storm, San Jose State, defending national champion Stanford and Fresno State.
With the loss of four seniors after 2011, including All-American goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, Reis, Ambrose and Speidel will be looked at to take on a bigger role and produce on the field.
With an emphasis on goal-scoring this spring, Smith was pleased to discover that Speidel has the potential be a dangerous weapon at forward. In 2011 she scored one goal but could be more dangerous in 2012.
Reis also scored one goal last season while Ambrose red-shirted the season.