May 9, 2003
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team has recruited the top class in the country, according to Soccer America magazine, in its annual rankings released today.
Five of the Top 17 recruits played for 2002 U17 national champion Pleasanton Rage from Northern California, and another five of the Top 25 are from Southern California. Nine of the Top 25 are defenders, although some could play other positions in college.
Santa Clara, NCAA champions in 2001 and runner-up last fall, was followed in the Top 10 by a virtual Who's Who of the sport. UCLA placed second, followed by rising power Texas, reigning NCAA champion Portland, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Virginia, Nebraska, and rising powers Arizona State and Florida State.
U.S. national team forward Heather O'Reilly, headed to North Carolina, is Soccer America's choice as the No. 1 recruit in a class that's heavy on defenders, Californians and Canadian National Team members.
Santa Clara topped the list of teams after signing four players with national team experience -- forward Tina Estrada, goalkeeper Julie Ryder, defender Lauren Zealer and forward Marian Dalmy -- and two more with regional ODP backgrounds: Tiffany Roberts and Elyse Shelger.
Click Here for the release announcing the Bronco Class of 2007.
Santa Clara will aim for its 10th overall appearance in the College Cup with the start of the 2003 season. The Broncos' 20-match schedule features 12 programs that advanced to last year's NCAA Championship, included four of the top eight seeds. The Broncos will host eight of those matches at Buck Shaw Stadium. The season kicks off against UCLA at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 29. Last season, the Bruins were ranked third when the Broncos upset them in overtime in Los Angeles. Santa Clara is 4-0 against UCLA in the all-time series between the schools.
SA Top-10 Recruiting Classes 20031. Santa Clara (West Coast Conference)
2. UCLA (Pacific-10 Conference)
3. Texas (Big 12 Conference)
4. Portland (West Coast Conference)
5. Notre Dame (Big East Conference)
6. North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference)
7. Virginia (Atlantic Coast Conference)
8. Nebraska (Big 12 Conference)
9. Arizona State (Pacific-10 Conference)
10. Florida State (Atlantic Coast Conference)