SANTA CLARA, Calif. – No. 24 Santa Clara women's soccer begins its push towards the 27th NCAA Tournament in program history Friday at 7:30 p.m. vs. San Jose State at Stevens Stadium in the 2017 season-opener.
A year ago, the Broncos made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament by beating Long Beach State, No. 2 Stanford, the top seed in the tournament, and North Carolina State before falling at No. 5 Georgetown 1-0.
Santa Clara is a perfect 16-0 against San Jose State since the first meeting between the programs in 1995. The last meeting was a 2-1 victory in San Jose to open the 2011 season.
Santa Clara (0-0) returns a quartet of All-WCC honorees from a season ago. Gudrun Arnardottir, the WCC Freshman of the Year and a Second Team All-WCC pick, and Kellie Peay, a Second Team selection, help anchor a back line in front of Melissa Lowder who was named All-WCC honorable mention. Maddy Gonzalez was named to the All-Freshman team after finishing second on the Broncos in goals and assists.
Peay and Arnardottir were named to the 2017 All-WCC Preseason team and Santa Clara was picked to win the WCC by the league's coaches, narrowly beating out BYU.
Last year, the Broncos finished 12-7-4 and 6-2-1 in conference play. They outscored their opponents 30-18 and didn't allow more than two goals in a game all year and all seven loses were by one goal.
Despite losing leading scorer Jordan Jesolva to graduation, Santa Clara is looking to Gonzalez and transfer Maria Sanchez to help lead the offensive charge.
Lowder finished the season allowing 14 goals for a 0.68 GAA. She made 74 saves and had a .841 save percentage while picking up eight shutouts.
San Jose State (0-0) finished last season 10-6-4 and 7-3-1 in the Mountain West Conference before being knocked out in the first round of the conference tournament.
The Spartans outscored their opponents 34-20 in 2016 and held a 119-77 advantage in shots on goal.
Dorthe Hoppius led the team last year with eight goals and five assists. Darriell Franklin and Kristen Amarikwa both return after scoring three goals apiece last year and posting four and three assists respectively.
Paige Simoneau and Ana Calero split time in net in 2016. Calero appeared in 13 games and allowed 15 goals for a 1.26 GAA while making 26 saves and picking up three shutouts. Simoneau appeared in nine games and allowed five goals for a 0.53 GAA. She made 31 saves and had four shutouts.
Tickets: Season or single-game tickets are available. Click here to purchase online or contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or [email protected]. Group discounts are also available through our ticket office sales and service consultants. Gates to Stevens Stadium, as well as its ticket office, are open one hour prior to the start of the match.
Parking: For weekday matches, the Leavey Center lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is free beginning one hour prior to kickoff. Any other parking facility on campus will be subject to normal daily rates or restrictions, including the main structure, located adjacent to Stevens Stadium on Palm Drive. During the weekend, campus parking facilities are free (except for permit required locations). Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.
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