Dec. 5, 2001
Santa Clara University will face the University of Florida in the second semifinal of the 2001 College Cup. Friday's match will begin at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The Broncos are the tournament's second overall seed, while the Gators are seeded sixth. SCU (21-2) is making its fifth trip to the College Cup in the last six seasons, and eighth overall.
The Broncos' NCAA History
Santa Clara's appearance in this year's NCAA postseason is the program's 13th straight. The Broncos received an automatic berth in the 2001 Tournament after winning the West Coast Conference Championship on November 4. SCU has reached the semifinals on eight occasions: 1989, '90, '92, '96, '97, '98, '99 and 2001. The Broncos are 24-12 all-time in the 13 tournaments, outscoring opponents 71-33, including 15 shutouts.
ESPN2 will air the Broncos semifinal match tape-delayed on Dec. 9 at 9 a.m. PT. The first semifinal will be shown a day earlier at the same time. The title game will air twice on ESPN, live on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. and rebroadcast on Dec. 11 at noon. For those that have access to satellite TV, fans can watch both semifinals live on Friday. Coordinates are as follows: KU Band, SBS 6, Transponder 9.
Live on the Internet
College Cup host SMU is offering fans a chance to follow both semifinal matches and the title game online with a live statistical tracker. The link will be provided to Santa Clara's official athletic website, www.SantaClaraBroncos.com on Wednesday. By logging on, fans can receive real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer.
Florida (21-3-1) advances to the semifinals for the second time in the program's six-year history. The Gators advanced with a 1-0 victory over third-seeded UCLA last weekend in Los Angeles. A goal by freshman Monica Hoyles in the final minute of the second overtime made the difference. The Bruins held a 20-4 shot advantage at the end of regulation, with Florida playing its first postseason overtime contest. Hoyles' shot appeared to deflect off an UCLA defender en route to the goal. The Gators played the match without senior all-American defender Keisha Bell, who suffered a left knee sprain on Friday.
This Year's College Cup a Repeat of 1998
The four teams in this year's College Cup mark the same lineup as the 1998 semifinals. North Carolina topped Portland, while Florida defeated Santa Clara, both by 1-0 scores. Florida claimed its first and only national title in the program's young history with a 1-0 victory over North Carolina in the title contest.
On North Carolina and Portland
North Carolina (23-0) and Portland (20-3) will face each other in the other semifinal. The Tar Heels have reached the NCAA College Cup every season of its 20-year existence and own 16 national championships. The Pilots are making their sixth College Cup appearance in the last eight years, and second straight, after losing to UCLA 1-0 in last year's semifinal. SCU is 0-4 against UNC in the NCAA Tournament and winless in one contest against Portland in the postseason.
College Cup Tickets
An All-Tournament ticket package is now on sale at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 408-554-4660. Adult price is $30 while youths ages 2-18 are $24.
Flying the Friendly Skies
The Broncos will leave for Dallas on Wednesday, American Airlines flight 2486 from San Jose to Dallas/Fort Worth, arriving at 7:41 p.m. local time. The team returns on Monday, flight 2465 that returns to SJC at 2:25 p.m.
All practices will be held at Pettus Field, just west of Ford Stadium, and are open to the public. Thursday's practice schedule is as follows: North Carolina 10-11:30 a.m. Central Time, Portland 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Santa Clara 1 -2:30 p.m., and Florida 2:30-4 p.m.
Dallas Weather Report
According to weather.com, as of Monday, Dallas is expecting partly cloudy skies through the weekend. Friday's weather calls for a high/low of 68/45 while Saturday will see the temperatures drop to about 64/37. Fans attending Sunday's championship match should expect an even cooler day at 61/41. Dallas' average high for the month of December is 57 degrees, while it's average low is 37 degrees. Precipitation for the month averages 1.9 inches. The record high for the city reached 89 degrees in 1955 while the record low was a chilly 1 degree in 1989.
Soccer Town, USA
Santa Clara is trying to bring the third national championship of the season to the South Bay. The Bay Area CyberRays, one of the country's eight Women's United Soccer Association's teams, won the inaugural Founders Cup in August. The San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer followed suit with its first MLS Cup in October. Two Bronco wins this weekend in Dallas would give the South Bay a new triple crown of sorts that leaves no question in fans minds that the area is Soccer Town, USA.
NCAA Expanded Tournament Field
The NCAA Championships expanded this year from 48 to 64 teams. Three seasons ago, the women's bracket was increased from 32 to 48 teams. In the Championship, 28 conferences were awarded automatic berths with 36 teams receiving at-large selections.
Balancing Finals with the Championship
This week, the Broncos' 22 student-athletes will be balancing preparations for Friday's semifinal match against Florida with finals. Most of the players are trying to take exams before the team leaves for Dallas on Wednesday afternoon. In previous championships, the College Cup would take place one week before finals, but the expansion of this year's tournament, the final three matches of the NCAA soccer season now fall in line with finals week for SCU, which is on the quarter system.
A Postseason Shootout
Including Saturday's match, the Broncos have now outshot their opponents 54-3 in the first half of each round in this year's tournament. Overall, the totals favor SCU 98-13.
Wagner Named a Hermann Trophy Finalist
Aly Wagner was named one of four finalists for the Hermann Trophy, announced Monday by collegesoccer.com, the presenting sponsor of the player of the year award. The trophy was presented to Penn State's Christie Welsh on Tuesday. Joining Wagner as finalists were North Carolina's Jena Kluegel and Florida's Abby Wambach. The players were the top four vote-getters out of the 15 semifinalists, which also included Bronco senior defender Danielle Slaton. The Hermann Trophy, soccer's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, has been given annually since 1988 to the nation's best female college soccer player. The Hermann Trophy is named for Robert R. Hermann, the former Chairman of the Executive Committee of the old North American Soccer League and one of that groundbreaking league's founders. Wagner was named one of five finalists for last year's honor while Slaton is a two-time semifinalist. Mandy Clemens became the first Bronco to be honored with the Hermann, when she was announced as the 1999 winner. Clemens was only the second SCU player to capture the title of national player of the year. Former standout Brandi Chastain earned postseason honors following the 1990 season as she was named the 1990 ISAA Player of the Year.
Wagner Notches 50-Point Season
With her three points on Saturday against Virginia, Aly Wagner became only the fifth Bronco in program history to post 50 points in a season, joining Mandy Clemens (71 - 1999), Jenny Fechner (60 - 1982), Brandi Chastain (50 - 1990) and Jacqui Little (50 - 1999).
Slaton Named One of WCC's 50 Best of All Time
Danielle Slaton was named one of the 50 greatest athletes in West Coast Conference history, league officials announced last week. She is one of eight Bronco standouts that were honored, and is the only selection on the 50-member squad who is currently an active participant. Mandy Clemens also of women's soccer, Dennis Awtrey, Steve Nash, Kurt Rambis and Ken Sears from men's basketball, Melissa King from women's basketball and Cameron Rast from men's soccer were also included as some of the greatest student-athletes to ever grace the courts, courses, and fields over the last five decades.
The elite list was compiled by the league as part of the celebration honoring its 50th year of existence. The list includes only individuals from the league's current membership who participated in WCC athletics while the conference sponsored each performer's particular sport. The full list is available at WCCSports.com, the official website of the West Coast Conference.
Head Coach Jerry Smith
In his 15th season as head coach, Jerry Smith (CS Hayward '86) earned his sixth WCC Coach of the Year honor when he was named this year's co-recipient with Saint Mary's Paul Ratcliffe. Smith has compiled an overall record of 240-60-15 (.786) and earned his 50th WCC victory against Gonzaga in mid-October. Additionally, he has coached Santa Clara to 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and eight College Cups. The winningest coach in the program's history, Smith is fourth 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 12 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 last year's selection Veronica Zepeda. He coached 1999 National Player of the Year Mandy Clemens.
Blondes Do Have More Fun
No, that's not Landon Donavan on the sidelines for the Broncos, but rather SCU head coach Jerry Smith with blonde hair. Beginning this season, the West Coast Conference has adopted an award that will reward the athletic programs within the league that have the top overall performances in conference play. The inaugural "Commissioner's Cup" is an all-sports award that utilizes a point system reflecting the finish of each team in conference standings to determine the top overall athletic program in the WCC. At the end of the year the league will present men and women's all-sports awards as well as the overall Commissioner's Cup to the top performing athletic program. The points will be awarded based on regular-season or conference championship finishes in the league's 13 sponsored sports, with eight points for the champion, seven for second-place and so on.
With that in mind, Smith challenged his player to win the conference championship not just for their team, but for the good of the entire athletic department. The girls requested some fun and Smith agreed to comply, not knowing what he was agreeing to until after the team captured the title. The Broncos won the WCC title on November 4 and during the team's trip to Champaign, Ill., selected players took Smith to a local mall for the dye job and an ear piercing, where a new diamond stud can be found in Smith's left ear. He has promised to maintain the coif through the season and already has scheduled a hair appointment for Monday, December 10. Santa Clara also won conference titles this year in women's cross country and men's soccer, while the men's cross country and volleyball teams placed second, giving the Broncos an 8.5-point lead at the conclusion of the fall sports season.