November 10, 2000

Women's Soccer Travels to Cal for NCAA 2nd Round

Nov. 10, 2000

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This Week After and injury-plagued regular season, Santa Clara (14-6-1) was at full strength for the first round of the NCAA Tournament as the Broncos defeated Cal Poly 3-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium on Nov. 8. Santa Clara now faces California in the second round on Saturday, Nov. 11. The match will take place at Edwards Stadium at 1 p.m. The Bears, 17-2-1, are the tournament's eighth seed. Earlier in the season, the two teams tied 1-1 after a double overtime match at the adidas Bay Area Classic in San Jose.

NCAA Tournament Santa Clara earned its 12th straight berth into the NCAA Tournament, earning an at-large bid. The Broncos have reached the semifinals of the Championship seven times, including the last four straight. Wednesday night's 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. Additionally, the Broncos are one of four teams from the Bay Area selected to the draw.

Advancing through the Championship The winner of this afternoon's contest will play at the winner of the Stanford/BYU match. Brigham Young is 18-3-1 on the season while Stanford is 14-5-1 with a 4-1 victory over San Jose State in the tournament's first round. San Jose State University will host the Women's College Cup on Dec. 1 and 3.

The Opponent Seventh-ranked California earned its third straight berth into the NCAA Tournament and ninth overall with a 17-1-2 regular season, the most wins in school history. The Bears received a first-round bye as the tournament's eighth seed. Although the Bears are 7-9 all-time in the postseason and are looking for their first NCAA victory since 1988, they are 6-0 when playing postseason matches at home and are 10-0 at Edwards Stadium this season. Cal finished second in the Pac-10 with a 7-2 mark as seven teams from that conference earned NCAA berths. The team is led by sophomore forward Laura Schott, who enters the weekend as the nation's leader in goals per game, with a 1.22 average. Additionally, Cal is 7-2-1 against teams selected to this year's Championship. The Bears have also shut out 12 opponents, and have scored in each of their 20 matches.

Aldama Named WCC Co-Player of the Year, Zepeda Shares Freshman Honors The 2000 WCC All-Conference team is highlighted by two Santa Clara players. Senior forward Heather Aldama was named the Co-Player of the Year with Portland's Erin Misaki, the first time in league history that the award has been shared. Additionally, Freshman of the Year honors were shared, between Santa Clara's Veronica Zepeda and Pepperdine's Lacey Ubaldi. Aldama's honor is the fourth straight Player of the Year award to a Bronco player, as Mandy Clemens won the previous three. Zepeda's selection is the fifth straight to a Bronco freshman. Sophomore Aly Wagner won the award last year, junior Danielle Slaton was the 1998 honoree, senior Megan Horvath was chosen in 1997 and Jacqui Little took the title in 1996. Additionally, Aldama, Slaton and Zepeda were named to the conferences first team, while Horvath earned second-team honors. Honorable mention honors were earned by senior Ruby Vigil, sophomore Devvyn Hawkins and freshman Chardonnay Poole.

NCAA First Round Recap
Women's Soccer Defeats Cal Poly 3-1
Santa Clara defeated Cal Poly 3-1 in NCAA First-Round action Nov. 8 at Buck Shaw Stadium. The win was the Broncos' 18th in the postseason, as Santa Clara has advanced to the last 12 straight NCAA Tournaments. Tonight's win also 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.

In the Rankings After falling out of the polls for the first time in years last week, Santa Clara returned to the NSCAA/adidas Poll this week at No. 24 with 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 for the first time this season. 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 6-3-1 vs. ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 6 Connecticut, No. 23 Maryland, No. 5 Stanford, No. 17 Wake Forest, No. 13 USC and No. 21 San Diego, and falling to No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 15 Virginia and No. 17 Portland. The tie was against No. 11 California.

All Tied Up The even score that Santa Clara posted against No. 11 California marked the first tie for the Broncos in the last 47 matches. Santa Clara last added a tie to the team's record in 1998, when a Sept. 27 match at Stanford ended with no score.

Head Coach Jerry Smith Now in his 14th season as head coach, Jerry Smith (CS Hayward '86) has compiled an overall record of 217-57-15 (.777) 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.