Nov. 4, 2003
Santa Clara will take its 10-match unbeaten streak to Spokane, Wash., to play its final match of the regular season at Gonzaga. The Zags have won three straight league contests and are currently amid the best season in program history. Santa Clara has never lost to Gonzaga, with a 10-0-0 all-time series edge.
A Chance to Three-Peat is on the Line
Santa Clara controls its own destiny this weekend. SCU needs to defeat Gonzaga to clinch its seventh league title. A loss or a tie, combined with a Portland win, will give the Pilots their seventh conference crown. Santa Clara has also won conference championships in 1993, '97, '98, '99, 2001, and '02.
Candau Named WCC Player of the Week
Kristi Candau was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for her performances this past weekend in leading the Broncos to victory over Portland and helping put Santa Clara in the driver's seat for its third league championship. Candau is the second Bronco to earn the league's weekly honor this season, following Leslie Osborne's selection for October 20.
A forward from nearby Los Altos Hills, Candau made her final home match at Buck Shaw Stadium memorable, with her golden goal in double overtime snapping Portland's 12-match win streak. Candau took a left-footed shot. Her attempt skimmed off Veronica Zepeda's head, and sailed over Pilot keeper Cori Alexander's outstretched arms just inside the right post.
"I'm very happy for Kristi," SCU head coach Jerry Smith said. "As a senior playing her last home regular season game at Buck Shaw, you couldn't script the ending any better: she scored the golden goal against our biggest conference rival on Senior Day. It was very appropriate for one of our seniors-and best goal scorers-to be able to come through for us in that situation."
Osborne Climbing Career Charts
Junior Leslie Osborne is steadily climbing both the Santa Clara and West Coast Conference recordbooks. The midfielder from Menomonee Falls, Wis., is one of three players that have started all 19 matches this season, and despite taking on a more defensive role this season, leads the team with 10 goals and 25 points. Osborne became only the eighth Bronco--and 14th WCC player--to notch 100 points with her first-half score against Portland. In SCU record books, that score moved her into the top eight in goals, at 34, while she is also ranked ninth in assists (32). In the league listings, Osborne is 11th in career assists and 13th in career goals and points.
Among the Nation's Leaders
Santa Clara is currently ranked 17th in scoring offense, averaging 2.53 points per game, 75th in goals-against average, at 0.986, and 88th in shut out percentage (0.37). Individually, Julie Ryder is ranked 12th in goals-against average (0.556), one of three freshmen in the top 12.
Spreading the Offense
Twelve different Broncos have scored goals this season, with nine team members notching at least three goals apiece. Leslie Osborne leads the squad with 10 goals, followed by Tracy Hess' six and Marian Dalmy's five. Accounting for assists, there are seven Broncos with at least 10 points on the season, led again, by Osborne's 25.
A Look Ahead: The NCAA Selection Show
ESPNews will broadcast the selection show for this year's NCAA Championship on Monday, November 10 at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. The Broncos will begin their quest for national bragging rights and aim for its third straight College Cup appearance--and 10th overall--when the NCAA Championship begins the weekend of Nov. 14. Individual schools will host the first through fourth rounds, with the 22nd annual College Cup being hosted by North Carolina State University and the Capital Area Soccer League in Cary, N.C., on Dec. 5 and 7.
In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the league in shots (286) and corner kicks (111) while tying for first in goals (48), and ranking second in points (133), and assists (37). Individually, Leslie Osborne is ranked second in goals (10), third in goals per game (0.53), points (25), and points per game (1.32), fourth in shots (47), and seventh in assists (5). Tracy Hess is ranked eighth in goals (6). Veronica Zepeda and Megan Kakadelas are ranked seventh in assists (5). Julie Ryder is listed second in goals-against average (.56) and second in shut outs per game (0.50).
Santa Clara has played six matches to the distance: double overtime. In fact, three of Santa Clara's first six matches went extra frames. With the Broncos' draw against CS Fullerton to end non-conference play, the program has played four overtime games in three of the last four seasons. The record for SCU is five overtime games, played during the 1995 campaign. That being said, this season marks the first the Broncos have played six double overtime contests. Santa Clara's double overtime victory against Portland to close the home season marked the first win in six tries for the Broncos in extra frames, as the other contests resulted in ties.
Bronco Bios: Preseason All-America Veronica Zepeda
As a Senior in 2003: A team captain... one of 16 national "Players to Watch" for M.A.C. Hermann Trophy... named a preseason All-America candidate by Soccer America... named to the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team... has started six contests and has seen action in 14 matches... sat out matches against Cal Poly, TCU, Loyola Marymount, San Francisco and Saint Mary's to rest due to shin splints... plays mostly at forward, but has seen action in the midfield... has three goals and five assists on the season for 11 points... scored team's first goal of the season, against No. 3 UCLA in the first half... slanted a shot that split two Bruin defenders and bested the keeper... marked her 25th career goal... played the entire 110 minutes, a career high, after stress fractures in legs the past three seasons often prevented playing entire matches... team nicknamed her "Gramma" as body was sore during preseason because she wasn't used to two-a-day workouts... scored two goals and an assist against Pacific... notched two assists at the adidas Classic... was held out of first half of USC match to rest injury, but played in second half, sparking Bronco offense with a flurry to plays... assisted on the Broncos' second goal against Pepperdine...
Bronco Bios: Preseason All-America Leslie Osborne
As a Junior in 2003: A team captain... named a preseason All-America candidate by Soccer America and Soccer Buzz magazines... named to the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic and SCU adidas Classic All-Tournament Teams... one of three players that has started all 19 contests... plays mostly at holding midfielder, but has also seen time at forward.. has 10 goals and five assists for a team-leading 25 points... had stitches on right temple for first two matches after a collision in practice... earned an assist at San Jose State... posted a goal and two assists against Pacific, including the game-winner... posted four shots against Penn State, including one in overtime that almost scored... scored two goals and netted one assist against Georgia... scored twice at CS Fullerton... earned first career hat trick against No. 7 Pepperdine... two of the goals were converted penalty kicks... named the WCC Player of the Week and a spot on the Soccer America Team of the Week for October 20 for those performances... netted a goal and an assist at San Francisco... scored in the 24th minute against Portland, becoming only the second opponent to notch a first-half goal against the Pilots...
Bronco Bios: Julie Ryder
As a Freshman in 2003: Has started 12 contests... earned first collegiate start at San Jose State... has 36 saves on the season... has allowed seven goals in 1132 minutes for a 0.56 GAA, ranked 12th nationally... is 9-1-2 on the season with six shut outs... earned first career shutout against California... missed matches at Virginia Classic due to groin strain... posted three straight shut outs, against previously-undefeated Cal Poly, at Stanford and at San Diego... allowed a goal against LMU, ending a shut out streak of 294:38 minutes, dating back to September 21 against Notre Dame... posted sixth shut out of season at Saint Mary's, making a season-high six saves...
Bronco Bios: Megan Kakadelas
As a Junior in 2003: Has started 15 contests at forward and has seen action in 18... missed start against Notre Dame due to an equipment issue... also sat out against TCU due to sore hip flexors... has four goals and five assists for 13 points... scored the team's third goal at San Jose State, on a breakaway... added another breakaway, at Virginia, for the early Bronco lead... scored a goal and an assist against Georgia... assisted on SCU's second goal at Stanford... scored in the 87th minute at San Diego... posted one assist against LMU and two against Pepperdine...
Bronco Bios: Jessica Ballweg
As a Junior in 2003: Named to the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic and SCU adidas Classic All-Tournament Teams... one of three players that has started all 19 contests... plays mostly in defense but has seen time as the holding midfielder... has two assists on the season ... assisted on the team's fourth goal at San Jose State... assisted on breakaway goal at Virginia...
Bronco Bios: Micaela Esquivel
As a Sophomore in 2003: Has started all 16 contests she has been available for... began season at midfield, but plays mostly at left back... missed start against USC due to a red card that was issued against Notre Dame... sprained medial collateral ligament in right knee midway through second half against Pepperdine... did not play at San Francisco or Saint Mary's... has two goals and three assists for seven points... scored twice at San Jose State, the second on a steal in the penalty box... assisted on the game-winner against Cal Poly... assisted on game-winner against TCU... named to Soccer America and Soccer Buzz Teams of the Week for performances at Stanford Invitational, holding opponents to only 10 shots and no goals... earned assist against LMU... returned to action against Portland after missing two matches and earned an assist off a free kick...
Bronco Bios: Kristi Candau
As a Senior in 2003: Has one start and has seen action in 12 matches... made season debut against Penn State and took one shot in return... missed first five matches while recovering from a summer surgery on leg... has three goals for six points... entered match against Cal Poly less than two minutes before scoring first goal of season on a free kick... scored in the 87th minute at San Diego... added the game-winner against Loyola Marymount... made first start of the season against Portland... scored the golden goal to defeat the Pilots on Senior Day... was named the WCC Player of the Week for that performance...