Nov. 21, 2001
Santa Clara returns home to face Dartmouth in the third round of the 2001 NCAA Women's Soccer Championships. The Broncos, who have reached the semifinals seven times-including four of the last five-are the tournament's second overall seed. SCU will face the Big Green at Buck Shaw Stadium at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Broncos, ranked second in the country with a 19-2 record, is making its 13th straight NCAA postseason appearance. Santa Clara received an automatic berth in the 2001 Tournament after winning the West Coast Conference Championship on November 4.
Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's third round NCAA match on Saturday can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, located on Santa Clara's official athletic website, www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. By logging on, fans can receive real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer. The feature was introduced this season and has been enjoyed for the team's entire home schedule.
On the Opponent
Dartmouth (11-4-1) advances to the Round of 16 for the third time in four seasons with its appearance at Santa Clara this weekend. The Big Green advanced to the third round with a 1-0 victory over No. 20 Michigan last weekend in Milwaukee, Wis. Dartmouth opened the 2001 Tournament with a 1-0 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Big Green has won four straight and eight of its last nine entering this weekend's play. Dartmouth has found success on the road, scoring 15 of its 25 goals this season-and four shutout wins-while visiting opponents. In NCAA Tournament action, Dartmouth is 6-6 all time, with appearances in 1993, '94, '96, and 1998-2001. Additionally, the Big Green played its sixth overtime contest of the season to open the 2001 Championships and is 4-1-1 during extra periods this season. Dartmouth advanced to the tournament via an at-large bid despite winning its second straight-and fifth overall-Ivy League title. The Big Green was to have faced Santa Clara at the Stanford Invitational in mid-September, but declined to participate due to travel restrictions after the September 11 tragedies.
Advancing Through the Championship
The quarterfinals will be played November 30-December 2. The 2001 Women's College Cup will be held December 7 and 9 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
NCAA Expands Tournament Field
The NCAA Championships expanded this year from 48 to 64 teams. Three seasons ago, the women's bracket was increased from 32 to 48 teams. In the championship, 28 conferences were awarded automatic berths with 36 teams receiving at-large selections.
Bronco Offense is Second in the Nation
Santa Clara is ranked third the nation in total offense, averaging 3.38 points per game with 71 goals in 21 matches. The Bronco defense is also ranked, fifth with a 0.52 goals-against average. Individually, junior Aly Wagner leads the nation in assists, averaging 0.85 per game while she adds 14 goals to her totals. It averages to place her fifth nationally in points per game with a 2.25 average. Freshman Alyssa Sobolik is ranked sixth nationally in goals against average (.54 pg), having allowed only 7 goals in 14 matches and 1170 minutes of action. She is one of two freshmen ranked in the top 20.
The Broncos at Buck Shaw Stadium
Santa Clara has posted a 138-20-9 record at the 6,800-seat Buck Shaw Stadium over the last 15-plus seasons, including an 11-0-0 record in 1999. Over the last five-plus seasons, the Broncos are 62-6-3 (.894) at Buck Shaw.
In the Rankings
Santa Clara is currently ranked second in all four polls: Soccer America, NCSAA/adidas, Soccer Buzz Magazine and Soccer Times. Five of Santa Clara's final seven opponents were ranked nationally, including four conference opponents. In fact, for the first time in league history in any sport, the West Coast Conference had five teams ranked in the top 25 nationally, in No. 4 Portland, No. 12 Saint Mary's, No. 18 San Diego and No. 21 Pepperdine toward the end of the season. Overall, Santa Clara went 7-2 against ranked opponents, with three wins over top-five foes: No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford and No. 4 Portland.
Hermann Trophy Semifinalists
Danielle Slaton and Aly Wagner are also candidates for the 2001 Hermann Trophy, college soccer's oldest and most prestigious player of the year award, the Hermann Foundation and TEAMtalk, Inc., announced in August. Fifteen finalists were named. Wagner was named one of five finalists for last year's honor, while Slaton and former standout Heather Aldama were named semifinalists. Mandy Clemens became the first Bronco to be honored with the Hermann, when she was announced as the 1999 winner. Clemens was only the second SCU player to capture the title of national player of the year. Former standout Brandi Chastain earned postseason honors following the 1990 season as she was named the 1990 ISAA Player of the Year. Three finalists will be announced on December 1 and the winners will be named at the College Cup, held December 8 in Dallas, Texas. The Hermann Trophy, soccer's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, has been given annually since 1988.
MAC Player of the Year Finalists
Danielle Slaton and Aly Wagner were named candidates for the 11th annual Missouri Athletic Club's Collegiate Player of the Year Award, as announced by the Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation. Last season, Slaton finished fourth while Wagner placed fifth in the final ballots. The award is the official National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas award for Division I players. The winner will be presented with the award on January 11, 2002 in St. Louis. Former standout Mandy Clemens won the award in 1999.
Broncos Name Nine to All-WCC Teams
Jerry Smith was named to his sixth West Coast Conference Coach of the Year honor, the league announced last week. Additionally, Aly Wagner was named the fifth straight Bronco to garner WCC Player of the Year accolades while Danielle Slaton was named the conference's Defender of the Year. Smith shares this year's honors with Saint Mary's Paul Ratcliffe. Smith has also earned the recognition in 1993, '95, '97, '98 and '99.
Wagner becomes this fifth straight Bronco to earn Player of the Year honors. She follows last year's selection in Heather Aldama and 1997-99 recipient Mandy Clemens. Slaton becomes the first SCU player to earn Defender of the Year honors. In addition to Wagner and Slaton, Leslie Osborne and Veronica Zepeda earned first-team honors while second-team recognition went to Devvyn Hawkins and Anna Kraus. Honorable mention honors were received by Kerry Cathcart, Jessica Ballweg and Bree Horvath.
Head Coach Jerry Smith
In his 15th season as head coach, Jerry Smith (CS Hayward '86) earned his sixth WCC Coach of the Year honor when he was named this year's co-recipient with Saint Mary's Paul Ratcliffe last week. Smith has compiled an overall record of 238-60-15 (.784) and earned his 50th WCC victory against Gonzaga in mid-October. Additionally, he has coached Santa Clara to 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The winningest coach in the program's history, Smith is fourth 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 12 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 last year's selection Veronica Zepeda. He coached 1999 National Player of the Year Mandy Clemens.
Bronco Bios: Aly Wagner
As a Junior in 2001: Named a Hermann Trophy semifinalist and MAC Player of the Year finalist... also named a preseason All-American... Named the WCC's Player of the Year and a first-team All-WCC selection... also named the league's Player of the Month for September and October... scored first career-hat trick against Florida State... accomplishment earned her WCC Player of the Week honors and elite team status from Soccer America and Soccer Buzz... posted two goals and two assists at San Jose State... scored one goal and assisted on three others in Bronco win against SMU... added a goal against San Diego State to earn the adidas Classic MVP award... successful weekend also led to her second WCC Player of the Week honors and elite team status from Soccer America and Soccer Buzz... powered a free kick with just 7:43 left in the first overtime period to propel the Broncos to a 2-1 win over Stanford... that victory ended Stanford's 13-match win streak at Maloney Field and its undefeated season...attempted a free kick at the 10:01 mark that went just over the cross bar before she connected on the game winner just 3:00 later... added a goal and an assist against Gonzaga... added two goals and an assist in a 3-0 defeat of No. 2 UCLA... netted a free kick in the 89th minute to lead SCU to a 1-0 victory over Saint Mary's, ending the Gaels' undefeated season... added an assist in both Bronco goals against San Diego for the WCC Championship... leads the WCC with 45 points on 14 goals and 17 assists... is ranked sixth nationally in points per game with a 2.75 average... has started 20 of 20 contests and has posted at least one point in 16 of them... has had a hand in more than one score in eight Bronco contests... is now in 15th place on the league's career points list, with 91 in 59 matches... is ninth in Santa Clara's recordbook in points and goals (28), and has vaulted to No. 4 all-time in assists with 37... did not play in regular season finale against Colorado College while resting a sore hip flexor... converted a penalty kick for the game-winner in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against Syracuse...
Bronco Bios: Danielle Slaton
As a Senior in 2001: Named a Hermann Trophy semifinalist and MAC Player of the Year finalist... also named a preseason All-American... Named the WCC's Defender of the Year and a first-team All-WCC member... named to the all-adidas Classic team... has started all 19 matches... has one goal and nine assists... scored first goal of the year off a corner kick against second-ranked UCLA in the match's seventh minute... notched two assists in the Broncos' 10-0 defeat of Gonzaga... added two more on senior night against Colorado College... began the season at left back but was moved to the center in late September to secure the defense... has effectively shut down opposing team's attacks... with fellow senior Anna Kraus, anchors a defense that is flanked by two freshman and a freshman goalkeeper... has only allowed three goals all season in the run of play with 12 shutouts... held Colorado College to one shot on goal... assisted on the game-winner in the NCAA first round against Evansville... held Syracuse to two shots in NCAA Second Round...
Bronco Bios: Anna Kraus
As a Senior in 2001: Named a preseason All-American... earned second-team All-WCC honors... has started all 19 matches... named to Soccer America's and Soccer Buzz's team of the week after holding Portland's Christine Sinclair without a shot and shutting down San Diego's attack... with fellow senior Danielle Slaton, anchors a defense that is flanked by two freshman and a freshman goalkeeper... has only allowed three goals all season in the run of play with 12 shutouts... held Syracuse to two shots in the second round of the NCAA Tournament...
Bronco Bios: Veronica Zepeda
As a Sophomore in 2001: Named an honorable mention preseason All-American... earned first-team All-WCC honors... scored first goal of the season within first six minutes of first match against Cal Poly... added her second goal later that night... posted a goal and an assist against San Jose State... added an assist for Tahmassian's game-winner against Florida State... has teamed with Tahmassian to score a combined five goals, all within a match's opening six minutes of either half... netted a goal and an assist against SMU... added an assist against SDSU en route to all-adidas Classic honors... was fouled while breaking toward the goal against Saint Mary's, setting up Wagner's free kick that was converted into the game-winner... registered a game-winner against LMU... added her fifth game-winner of the season against Portland to guarantee a share of the WCC title... has started 20 of 20 contests... sat out against San Diego while nursing some injuries... is third on the team with 23 points on the season with eight goals and seven assists...
Bronco Bios: Devvyn Hawkins
As a Junior in 2001: Named a second team preseason All-American... earned second-team All-WCC honors... scored at San Jose State, finishing off a rebound from Ballweg's shot... has started 16 matches and has tallied nine points on four goals and one assist... missed matches against California, Dayton, SMU and San Diego State personal reasons... father had become gravely ill and has since passed away... rejoined the team and has started every match since... registered a goal and an assist in the Broncos' 10-0 victory at Gonzaga... added a game-winning goal in the regular-season finale against Colorado College... headed in a goal off a corner kick in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against Syracuse...
Bronco Bios: Leslie Osborne
As a Freshman in 2001: Earned first-team All-WCC honors... registered first collegiate assist against Cal Poly in the team's season opener, passing to fellow freshman Bree Horvath... beat the keeper and three defenders against San Jose State for her first collegiate goal... scored goals in three straight games, against Cal, Dayton and SMU, on the same play: a header off a corner kick from Aly Wagner... posted one goal and two assists en route to all-adidas Classic honors... scored the program's sixth fastest goal all-time against Fresno State, heading in a ball just 37 seconds into the contest... added three goals and three assists against USF and Gonzaga en route to earning WCC Player of the Week and Soccer America Elite team of the week honors... added two goals and an assist against Colorado College... is one of two freshmen that has started all 21 contests... is second on the team in points, with 39 on 12 goals and 15 assists... added one goal and two assists in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament...
Bronco Bios: Jessica Ballweg
As a Freshman in 2001: Earned honorable mention-team All-WCC honors... scored from 30 yards out in the first half to lead Santa Clara to a 1-0 victory over No. 20 Wake Forest for her first collegiate goal... named to Soccer America's elite team of the week for her performance... added another long-distance score, this one from 40 yards out to even the contest at Stanford in the first half... scored first close-range goal against Portland in the 10th minute... is one of two freshmen that has started all 21 contests... has two goals and two assists for six points... is part of a defense that has only allowed three goals all season in the run of play with 12 shutouts...
Bronco Bios: Erin Sharpe
As a Junior in 2001: Has started eight matches and registered eight saves... has allowed only three goals for a 0.53 goals-against average and a 8-0 record... also saw action against Cal Poly, preserving the team's season-opening shut out... sprained left ankle late in the second half against Saint Mary's... did not allow a score in both NCAA matches, notching three saves...
Bronco Bios: Kristi Candau
As a Sophomore in 2001: Has seen action in 19 matches and has started on two occasions... had been limited in action due to injury... has eight goals and two assists on the season for 18 points... scored goals in both WCC matches to open conference play... added a score against San Diego to close conference play... registered a goal and an assist against Colorado College... goal was a penalty kick late in the second half... scored three goals in the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament, including the game-winner against Evansville...