July 30, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Soccer Buzz Magazine has named Santa Clara University women's soccer's 2001 recruiting class the fourth best in the nation. Additionally, the Broncos' class--ranked first in the West Region for the second time since 1998--includes four Parade All-Americans.
"On paper, this is the best recruiting class that we have ever signed for our women's soccer program at Santa Clara University," women's soccer head coach Jerry Smith said. "All eight of our recruits will play next year and many of them will be vying for starting positions."
Soccer Buzz selected Virginia's class as the best for 2001, followed by North Carolina and Texas. Tennessee was ranked fifth and 2001 Bronco opponents Portland, UCLA, Florida State and Stanford were listed in the sixth through ninth spots. Washington rounded out the top 10.
Santa Clara has been ranked nationally by Soccer Buzz during the last four seasons. The 2000 Bronco class ranked fourth best in the West and seventh in the nation while the 1999 class was picked ninth in the region and 33rd overall. In 1998, the magazine honored Santa Clara with the top pick nationally.
The Broncos belong to the West Coast Conference, which was ranked sixth by Soccer Buzz, behind the Atlantic Coast, Pacific-10, Big East, Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences. Rounding out the top 10 leagues are the Big 10, Ivy League, Western Athletic and Colonial Conferences.
"After a season impacted by many injuries and illnesses, it was very important for us to recruit a large class and this is the largest class we have ever signed," Smith continued. "This class also marks the first time we have signed players from Virginia, Wisconsin and New Jersey. This class will help us maintain our status as one of the elite Division I teams in the country for the next four years and will help us over that semifinal hurdle to our first NCAA Championship. I am very excited to start working with these talented players."
SoccerBuzz has been ranking NCAA women's soccer recruiting classes since 1998 and is the only publication to devote itself solely to the coverage of collegiate women's soccer.
Santa Clara finished the 2000 season with a 16-7-1 record, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fifth straight year. For the 10 letterwinners that return from that team and a total of 11 newcomers, the 2001 season begins Friday, Aug. 31, as the Broncos will host Cal Poly at Buck Shaw Stadium. The match is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.