Women's Soccer Signs Eight to Letters of Intent

Feb. 14, 2001

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Women's soccer head coach Jerry Smith announced the signing of eight players to National Letters of Intent this afternoon. Joining the Bronco Class of 2005 will include Parade All-Americans and 18U National Team members Jessica Ballweg, Leslie Osborne and Taline Tahmassian. Also signing with the Broncos are Holly Azevedo, Bree Horvath, Lana Bowen, and Saint Francis products Jaclyn Campi and Alyssa Sobolik.

"On paper, this is the best recruiting class that we have ever signed for our women's soccer program at Santa Clara University," Smith said. "I believe we have recruited the top class in the country. All eight of our recruits we signed will play next year and many of them will be vying for starting positions.

"After a season impacted by many injuries and illnesses, it was very important for us to recruit a large class and this is the largest class we have ever signed," Smith continued. "This class also marks the first time we have signed players from Virginia (Tahmassian), Wisconsin (Osborne) and New Jersey (Ballweg). This class will help us maintain our status as one of the elite Division I teams in the country for the next four years and will help us over that semifinal hurdle to our first NCAA Championship. I am very excited to start working with these talented players."

Santa Clara finished the 2000 season with a 16-7-1 record, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fifth straight year. For the 12 letterwinners that return from that team and today's announced newcomers, the 2001 season begins Friday, Aug. 31, as the Broncos will host Cal Poly at Buck Shaw Stadium. The match is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Bronco Class of 2005

NamePos.Ht.HometownHigh SchoolClub Team
Holly AzevedoD5-6Folsom, Calif.Folsom HS Pleasanton Rage
Jessica BallwegD/MF5-6Metuchen, N.J.Union Catholic Regional HS PDA Dynamo
Lana BowenMF5-9San Jose, Calif.Mitty HSSanta Clara Sonic
Jaclyn CampiF/D5-6Mountain View, Calif.Saint Francis HSSanta Clara Sonic
Bree HorvathF/MF5-3Danville, Calif.Carondolet HSPleasanton Rage
Leslie OsborneF/MF5-8Menomonee Falls, Wis.Catholic Memorial HSFC Milwaukee Nationals
Alyssa SobolikGK5-9Cupertino, Calif.Saint Francis HSSanta Clara Sonic
Taline TahmassianF5-4Great Falls, Va.Langley HSChantilly Hotspurs

Taline Tahmassian
5-4 Freshman
Great Falls, Va./Langley HS
Chantilly Hotspurts

Currently a member of the U19 National Team, Tahmassian was also a part of the U18 squad and is a Parade All-American this season. Additionally, the 5-4 forward is a Gatorade and NSCAA/adidas Virginia Player of the Year honoree. Her club team, the Chantilly Hotspurs, are five-time State Cup champions and reached the final four of the U.S. Youth Soccer Association National Championships last season as the East Region Champions. From Great Falls, Va., she has recorded 64 goals and 25 assists entering her senior year, and has already led Langley High School to its first district championship in 14 years, doing so in 1999. They have since repeated as district champions, earning Tahmassian the Washington Post's Player of the Year honors last season. Her father, Shahen, and her sister, Nadia, also played collegiate soccer, attending American University.

Smith on Tahmassian: I believe Taline is the top forward recruit in the country. She has a scorer's mentality and I predict that Taline will score many goals for Santa Clara University. Not only will she rack up goals, but she has the potential to score many game-winning goals. She can score the tough goals, the kind of goals that are needed against the best defenses in the country. In addition to her scoring potential she's a great passer. The combination of being able to score and set up a teammate makes her very difficult to defend. Taline will make an immediate impact on our team next year and be a great personality for the next four years.

Jessica Ballweg
5-6 Freshman
Metuchen, N.J./Union Catholic Regional HS
PDA Dynamo

Ballweg is a Parade All-American and a two-time NSCAA All-American. From Metuchen, N.J., she was also the NSCAA's 2000 New Jersey Player of the Year. A member of the U19 U.S. National Team, she has been a part of the National Team programs for the last three years and was a member of the team that traveled to the Albena Cup in Varna, Bulgaria, with current Bronco Veronica Zepeda. Her club team, the PDA Dynamo, won the State Cup three times. She led Union Catholic Regional High School to two conference championships and three appearances in the state sectional finals. She scored 83 goals and registered 91 assists in her career, including 24 goals and 20 assists her senior season. She is currently playing as a guard on her prep basketball team. Her brother played collegiate soccer at Loyola.

Smith on Ballweg: Jessica is one of the best soccer players in the country. She is a legitimate Youth National Player of the Year candidate. Jessica is the type of person who is going to be successful at whatever she goes after. Fortunately for Santa Clara, one of her passions is soccer and she is going to be playing for us. She has all the psychological characteristics for which we look for in our recruiting. She is very determined, focused, hardworking, intense, balanced, driven, self-motivated, tough-minded and team-oriented. She's a winner. Those attributes combined with her tremendous athleticism and versatility make her a tremendous addition to our program.

Leslie Osborne
5-8 Freshman
Menomonee Falls, Wis./Catholic Memorial HS
FC Milwaukee Nationals

Osborne also earned Parade and NSCAA All-American honors this season and was named the Wisconsin Player of the Year as a sophomore. The 5-8 midfielder/forward from Menomonee Falls, Wis., is currently a member of the U19 U.S. National Team, and has been a part of the National Team programs for the last three years. She plays club for the FC Milwaukee Nationals and led Catholic Memorial High School to a No. 1 national ranking as they won two state championships in her career. Entering her senior year, she already recorded 71 goals and 65 assists while leading her prep squad to a 63-4-3 record.

Smith on Osborne: We are very excited about Leslie. She brings so much to our program. She is one of the most versatile players I've ever seen. We don't know if she will play up front, in midfield or at the back for our team next year, but we know she is going to play and play a lot. Who knows, she may play in all three positions before the season is over. Leslie not only offers tremendous versatility, she will add size, strength and power to our team. Psychologically, Leslie will add toughness, confidence, intensity and a never-say-die mentality to our program. She is a very passionate and determined young woman. I believe she will have an immediate impact next fall.

Holly Azevedo
5-6 Freshman
Folsom, Calif./Folsom HS
Pleasanton Rage

Azevedo is also a Parade All-American this year. She hails from Folsom has been a member of the Region IV (West) Olympic Development Program team for three years. Although she now plays for the Pleasanton Rage Club team, she was a two-time State Cup runner up in 1998 and 2000 while playing with the San Juan Spirits. Additionally, her Folsom High School team was ranked fourth nationally. The 5-6 newcomer can play in defense and may see time in the midfield, and is on pace to be the valedictorian of her class.

Smith on Azevedo: Holly is a tenacious defender who is also very comfortable with the ball at her feet. She is very determined not to let an attacking player get by her. Her aggressive mentality, combined with her tremendous athletic ability, make her an awesome defender. However, Santa Clara Soccer has always been know for it's skillful defenders and Holly fits in nicely. She will not only be able to help our defense prevent goals, but her passing out of the back will contribute to our attack as well.

Bree Horvath
5-3 Freshman
Danville, Calif./Carondolet HS
Pleasanton Rage

Horvath, who's older sister Megan just finished a successful career as a Bronco and is now playing for the WUSA's San Jose CyberRays, is a 5-3 midfielder/forward that is a two-year member of the Region IV (West) ODP team. While playing club with the AC Thunderbirds, Horvath was a part of three State Cup titles and was the leading scorer in the State Cup Regional Tournament last fall. She is now a member of the Pleasanton Rage. From Danville, Horvath scored an overtime game-winning goal in the 1999 NCS Championship to give Carondolet High School its third straight title and a No. 1 national ranking. A three time All-Bay View League honoree in soccer, Horvath's speed can also be seen on the track, where she owns her school's record in the 200 meter, racing in 25.7 seconds.

Smith on Horvath: Bree will pick up right where her sister Megan left off. We are very excited about Bree. She is very quick, fast, and most important, she has tremendous acceleration. Bree is also very tough. Being a smaller forward, she has become accustomed to getting knocked around by bigger defenders. She cannot only take it, but she actually dishes it out pretty well also. Like Megan, Bree will contribute many goals and assist to our program each season starting next fall. She comes from a family that has been very supportive of Santa Clara University and our women's soccer program. She is the third daughter of Ron and Judy Horvath to attend SCU.

Lana Bowen
5-9 Freshman
San Jose, Calif./Mitty HS
Santa Clara Sonic

Along with Jaclyn Campi and Alyssa Sobolik, Bowen is a member of the Santa Clara Sonic club team, coached by SCU assistants Eric Yamamoto and Dan Dalzochio. As a 5-9 midfielder, she was with the Sonic as they won the State Cup twice and were the Western Regional runner's up for two straight years. Bowen earned first team Central Coast Section honors while leading her team to the CCS Championship last season.

Assistant Coach Eric Yamamoto on Bowen: Lana is a top athlete who can play several positions on the field. She is mentally tough and has been an important part of championships at the club and high school levels.

Jaclyn Campi
5-6 Freshman
Mountain View, Calif./Saint Francis HS
Santa Clara Sonic

As a member of the Santa Clara Sonic with signed recruits Alyssa Sobolik and Lana Bowen, Campi was a part of a club team that won the State Cup twice and were the Western Regional runner's up for two straight years. That squad is coached by current SCU women's assistant Eric Yamamoto and men's assistant Dan Dalzochio. At Saint Francis High School, she was a member of the two-time CCS Champions as her team also won the DeAnza League two straight seasons. Campi was her team's captain and twice earned All-League honors while being named the team's defensive MVP. The 5-6 forward/defender played with current Bronco Kristi Candau at Saint Francis for two seasons. Additionally, Campi is an All-County field hockey player and will join her sister Lauren on the mission campus, as Lauren is currently a freshman at Santa Clara.

Yamamoto on Campi: Jaclyn is an outstanding defender. She is tough and has tremendous speed. She has the ability to shut down the opposition's attack on her side of the field. She has played a large role in the success of her club and high school teams. Jaclyn is also versatile enough to do well up front or in midfield.

Alyssa Sobolik
5-9 Freshman
Cupertino, Calif./Saint Francis HS
Santa Clara Sonic

Along with Jaclyn Campi and Lana Bowen, Sobolik is a member of the Santa Clara Sonic club team, coached by SCU assistants Eric Yamamoto and Dan Dalzochio. As a 5-9 goalkeeper, she was with the Sonic as they won the State Cup twice and were the Western Regional runner's up for two straight years. Additionally, Sobolik is a four-year letterwinner on Saint Francis' basketball team, last year's DeAnza League champions and NorCal semifinalists. A captain of her squad this season, she was a second-team All-League honoree as a junior.

Yamamoto on Sobolik: Alyssa is one of the top goalkeepers in the class. She has good hands and is very good in the air, two qualities that are uncommon in young keepers. I expect to see tremendous growth as she focuses solely on soccer in college.

Smith on Bowen, Campi and Sobolik: Lana, Jaclyn and Alyssa are going to be great assets to our program. We believe they are three of the best players in the Central Coast Section and in fact Northern California. The transition from youth soccer to Santa Clara University should be very smooth for these three. All three currently play for the Santa Clara Sonic youth soccer team coached by current Santa Clara University assistant coach Eric Yamamoto. We would have recruited each of the three players even if they were not playing under Eric. However, their training under Eric will make the transition to our program a smooth one since there is sure to be some common threads. Also, we are confident that all three have had the necessary training to be prepared for Division I soccer.