Nov. 15, 2000
This Week Santa Clara (15-6-1) travels to Provo, Utah, for the third round of the NCAA Championship, and will face eighth-ranked Brigham Young at 1 p.m. MST on South Field. The Cougars, 19-3-1, have been eliminated by Santa Clara in the playoffs the last three straight seasons. This will be the first meeting of the teams this year and fifth overall. After an injury-plagued regular season, Santa Clara was at full strength for the first round of the NCAA Tournament, defeating Cal Poly 3-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium on Nov. 8. Santa Clara then upset eighth-seeded California in the second round 2-0 on Nov. 11.
NCAA Tournament Santa Clara earned its 12th straight berth into the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid this year. The Broncos have reached the semifinals of the Championship seven times, including the last four straight. The Nov. 8 first-round match was the first for SCU since 1997, as the team received byes each of the last two years. During the regular season, the Broncos faced 12 of the 47 other teams selected by the NCAA for this year's bracket, and went 7-4-1, outscoring the opposition 23-18. Santa Clara was one of 14 teams from the West Coast and one of four still alive. Additionally, the Broncos are the only remaining team from the four Bay Area squads that were selected to the draw.
Advancing Through the Championship The winner of Saturday afternoon's contest will play at the winner of the Notre Dame/Harvard match. Top-ranked Notre Dame is 21-0-1 on the season and the only team left undefeated. Santa Clara fell to the Fighting Irish 6-1 earlier this season in South Bend, Ind. Harvard is 12-7-0 with wins over Quinnipiac and Hartford in the first two rounds. A meeting against Harvard would be the first for SCU. San Jose State University will host the Women's College Cup on Dec. 1 and 3.
The Opponent Eighth-ranked Brigham Young is 19-3-1 this year and is in the midst of a 14-match unbeaten streak, going 13-0-1. Receiving a first-round bye, the Cougars defeated Stanford 5-0 in the Nov. 11 second round for their eighth shut out of the season. BYU is 7-0-1 at home this season and with a 12-0 1999 record, has not lost a match at South Field since 1998. The team won the Mountain West Conference for the second straight year, going 6-0-0 in league play. Although the Cougars are making their fourth straight postseason appearance, Santa Clara has eliminated BYU in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments, with three shutout victories.
The WCC in the NCAA For the first time since 1996, the WCC had three teams represent the league in the NCAA Tournament. Santa Clara, Portland and San Diego were selected to the postseason. San Diego fell to USC 2-1 on Nov. 8, while Portland defeated Arizona State 3-1 on Nov. 11. The Pilots will play at Washington in the third round. The same three teams represented the league in 1996, with Santa Clara and Portland reaching the semifinals.
In the Rankings After falling out of the polls for the first time in years, Santa Clara returned to the NSCAA/adidas Poll for its final edition at No. 24, based on two shut-out wins, over San Jose State and No. 21 San Diego. After the Oct. 29 loss to Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara fell out of the rankings. The Broncos began the season ranked second in the preseason, but losses to Washington and Notre Dame dropped SCU 17 spots where the team stayed for two straight weeks before moving up to 15th and then to 11th for two weeks. The No. 22 ranking marked the first time since 1987 that the Broncos have been out of the top 10. Soccer America's final poll of the season omitted the Broncos. In other polls, Santa Clara is tied with Duke for 18th by Soccer Times and is 17th by SoccerBuzz Magazine, a jump of five spots from last week. At the onset of the season, SoccerBuzz conducted a vote asking fans which team they thought would most likely win the 2000 NCAA title. Although North Carolina received 27 percent of the vote, Santa Clara finished close behind, with 22 percent.
Santa Clara is 7-3-1 vs. ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 6 Connecticut, No. 23 Maryland, No. 5 Stanford, No. 17 Wake Forest, No. 13 USC, No. 21 San Diego and No. 7 California. The losses were to No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 15 Virginia and No. 17 Portland. The tie was against No. 11 California.
NCAA Second Round Recap
SCU Upsets Eighth-Seeded California with 2-0 Shutout Santa Clara upset eighth-seeded California with a 2-0 shutout in NCAA second-round action at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley on Nov. 11. The win was the Broncos' 19th in the postseason, as Santa Clara has advanced to the last 12 straight NCAA Tournaments.
The loss marked California's first shut out of the season and first loss at home. The Bears had held 10 opponents this year to one goal at Edwards Stadium, until Santa Clara's two goals this afternoon. Santa Clara scored its first goal in the 43rd minute when freshman forward Kristi Candau received a cross from the left side from junior midfielder Kerry Cathcart. Her volley deflected off a Cal defender into the far post. The Broncos tallied an insurance goal in the 73rd minute when Candau crossed the ball from the right side to senior forward Megan Horvath, who redirected the ball into the net.
NCAA First Round Recap
Santa Clara Defeats Cal Poly 3-1 to Open NCAA Tournament Santa Clara defeated Cal Poly 3-1 in NCAA First-Round action Nov. 8 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Tonight's win marked Santa Clara's second victory over Cal Poly this season, as the Broncos won in San Luis Obispo 2-1 to start the year.
The Mustangs came out aggressive and took the first shot of the match, a wide posting by Megan Schlegel. The Broncos' defense responded by not allowing another Cal Poly shot until midway through the second half. Cal Poly finished with six shots on the night. The Broncos jumped on the scoreboard in the 15th minute. Kerry Cathcart's shot from the right was deflected by Cal Poly goalkeeper Natalia Garcia, but the rebound went left, right in front of Megan Horvath, who centered and then netted the ball between Garcia and a defender After the half, Kathleen Celio scored another Garcia deflection, with assists to Cathcart and Ruby Vigil. Kristi Candau posted the Broncos' final goal on the night on a breakaway. Cal Poly's lone score came off a penalty kick that Schlegel scored in the 82nd minute.
Head Coach Jerry Smith Now in his 14th season as head coach, Jerry Smith (CS Hayward '86) has compiled an overall record of 218-57-15 (.778) and has coached Santa Clara to 12 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The winningest coach in the program's history, Smith is fifth on the all-time NCAA coaching victory list. The Broncos have been ranked among the nation's Top 25 every season during Smith's coaching tenure and have finished among the Top 10 in each of the last 11 campaigns. In 1990, Santa Clara finished the season ranked first nationally. Additionally, he has coached 13 All-Americans, 11 U.S. National Team Players, eight Academic All-Americans and five WCC Freshmen of the Year, including this year's selection Veronica Zepeda. He coached 1999 National Player of the Year Mandy Clemens and has been awarded WCC Coach of the Year honors five times.