Santa Clara is catching up with many of the women celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Women's Athletics. Today we look back with former Bronco women's soccer player Danielle Slaton '01.
Tied for first on the Santa Clara women's soccer postseason career assists leader board, Danielle Slaton (DS) entered her senior season in 2001 with something bigger than personal achievements on her mind. She wanted to do what no Bronco women's soccer team before her had done: win the College Cup.
Santa Clara had reached the semifinals twice in Slaton's career but were unable to get over the hump. In 2001, however, things were different and Santa Clara topped North Carolina 1-0 in the title game. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) spoke Slaton about 50 years of women's athletics at Santa Clara.
SCB: Do you have special memories of Santa Clara you would like to share with us? As an athlete or a student?
DS: My freshman year was the first year that our women's soccer team received the full allotment of scholarships allowed by the NCAA. Our coach, Jerry Smith, always said that as soon as we were a fully-funded program, we would beat North Carolina (the best program in the country historically) more than they would beat us and we would win a national championship. Thanks to Santa Clara, I received a great education, I was a part of a nationally recognized soccer program, I am 2-0 vs. North Carolina, and we are the 2001 NCAA Champions.
SCB: What was it like for you to play at Santa Clara?
DS: Some of my best memories on the soccer field are at Buck Shaw Stadium and in a Bronco uniform. Being a student-athlete at Santa Clara was fun, exciting, and also difficult at times, but worth every minute of the struggle. I remember many of the games, some of which had 5,000 fans in the stadium, but mostly I remember my teammates and the other women I got to share my time with. My teammates are some of the strongest, smartest, funniest, and hardest working people I have ever met.