May 24, 2002

Broncos Dominate Pro League

May 24, 2002

By Josh Griffin
TSC Sports Editor

Santa Clara alumni have found success in the professional world, especially when it comes to sports. Steve Nash just wrapped up an All-Star campaign and Bryan Barker completed his thirteenth season as punter for the Redskins (I'll go out on a limb and designate Barker as the last Santa Clara grad ever in the NFL).

These accomplishments reflect positively on the university, but no league has benefited from Santa Clara graduates like the Women's United Soccer Association.

A fledgling league that is slighted by the media, the WUSA is approaching the midway point of its second year. There are currently 14 Broncos in the eight-team league, including current senior Danielle Slaton, the first overall pick in the 2002 draft.

In last Saturday's match at Spartan Stadium between the San Jose CyberRays and the Atlanta Beat, seven Broncos represented the two teams. Kylie Bivens and Nikki Serlenga (both '00) held down the midfield for Atlanta, while Brandi Chastain ('91) played at right midfield for San Jose. Anna Kraus, a key member of this year's championship Bronco team, and Dayna Smith ('96) are reserves for the Beat, and Megan Horvath ('01) and Lisa Nanez ('99) are subs for the CyberRays.

Though the CyberRays were defeated 2-1, the WUSA showed flashbacks of the World Cup teams of 1999. Atlanta featured Brianna Scurry in goal and Sun Wen at striker, while Tisha Venturini-Hoch and Brazilian playmaker Sissi joined Chastain with San Jose.

The quality of play was better than advertised, as the teams attacked and counter-attacked throughout the match providing numerous scoring opportunities. With the World Cup just a year away, I implore you to check out the American soccer scene either on PAX-TV or in person. If you do, you'll almost certainly recognize at least one player as a fellow Bronco.