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 Anessa Patton '11 (AP). In 2010 Patton was named to the All-WCC First Team and the 2010 NSCAA/Performance Subaru All-West Region Second Team. She was named the league's October Player of the Month in 2010. She was also named All-WCC Honorable Mention in 2009.
Patton is back living back at home in Fresno. She is working in the medical field at a hospital and hopes to start nursing school in the Fall of 2014. She is coaching varsity soccer at her alma mater high school and also coaching a U12 girls club soccer team. "Ever since I have been back I have been training dozens and dozens of young soccer players, teaching them everything I know about soccer," said Patton.
Lastly, she has been helping out in the community with the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) because of her little sister was diagnosed with it during the time I was at SCU! "I am very busy, but love to help others so I don't mind it," said Patton.
SCU This year Santa Clara is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Women's Athletics at SCU. What does that mean to you? What does it mean to you to have played in the first 50 years?
AP: Growing up, I always envisioned myself being a Santa Clara Bronco. Even though I am from Fresno, growing up I always attended games and camps over the summer. I knew I wanted to be a Bronco at a young age. I am a very family-oriented person and that's what I love about SCU. Now being an alum, it is like one big family. I wanted to be a part of a great tradition and Santa Clara was the perfect place to be a part of that. I am honored to have had the chance to represent the school and community. Over the 50 years that women's athletics has been around, there has been many successes that have happened and I am blessed to say that I am apart of that. There would have been no other school/program I would have wanted to be apart of.
SCU: Do you have special memories of Santa Clara you would like to share with us? A couple memories as an athlete or a student?
AP: The greatest memory as an athlete would have to be beating Notre Dame my freshman year 7-1 at home, but most importantly all the memories shared with my teammates. To this day, I still keep in touch with those that I play with and to be able to say that I have made lifelong friendships with the ones I spent almost everyday with whether on the field, in the locker room, doing community service, in soccer meetings, etc., is the greatest memory of them all. Oh!!! And being able to play on beautiful BUCK SHAW!
SCU: What was it like for you to play at Santa Clara?
AP: I also imagined myself playing for Santa Clara...I still remember the day I called Jerry Smith to tell him that I wanted to commit. I was at school on break in between classes and I couldn't wait until after school I was so excited. Getting the opportunity to play with some of the best players in the country at the time, alongside one of the greatest coaching staffs was amazing. I learned so much as a player, but most importantly getting the chance to play for Santa Clara ultimately prepared me for my life after college. The school/soccer program definitely made me a better human being as well.
SCU: What was special about being a college student-athlete as a woman?
AP: I would have to say that I worked very hard to get to the point of being a college student-athlete. Being able to step out on the field and see so many people there rooting you on was special in and of itself. I also have a little sister who looks up to me, while I was at Santa Clara, she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 7. It was hard for her and my family, but we have now changed our lifestyle because of it. But she has always been my biggest fan and being able to be her role model is so special. With that being said, all of the little girls who sit in the stands, wait in line to get an autograph, is what makes being a woman college athlete so special. We are the ones they look up to, in their future, they see themselves in our shoes and to be able to see them smile and screaming your name is beyond amazing.
SCU: What do you see in the future for college athletics for women?
AP: I hope that it continues to be something that they younger generation can look forward to. I think it opens a wide variety of things for after college. The characteristics that you learn as a student athlete are those that will help in the next chapter of your life; time management, commitment, responsibility, and passion for what you do. I hope that people can continue to see the hard work that women put in. It is a chance that so many people may not have and I would say, if you get the opportunity to play the sport you love in college, do it!