Sept. 4, 2002
The Broncos will continue the regular season and start a six-match road trip in South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame adidas Classic, presented by Saint Andrews Products. SCU will open the tournament against host Notre Dame while taking on 2001 NCAA Tournament participant Clemson in the Sunday morning match. The Broncos are 2-2 at the Classic, but lost to the Irish during their last visit to South Bend, a 2-1overtime loss in the 2000 NCAA Quarterfinals. It will be SCU's first meeting against the Tigers.
Season Opener Breaks Regular Season Attendance Record
The 4,756 fans that attended Santa Clara's season opener against Stanford on Friday made history, as the attendance record for a regular season home match was broken. The former mark was set October 17, 1999, when 4,051 fans attended the Broncos' 4-2 victory over Notre Dame.
"It was awesome and it was loud," head coach Jerry Smith said after the match. "There were so many ooohs and aaaahs, which was really exciting. A victory would have been nice at the end of the day, but it was a great crowd."
Athletic Department Raises National Championship Flag
Fans attending the Broncos' home opener against Stanford watched the athletic department honor the 2001 National Champions by raising a flag near the scoreboard at the south end of the Stadium. Several women's soccer alumni joined the current players on the field to help present the banner to the crowd.
"It's taken a number of years to get to this point and there are a lot of players that have come before this 2001 team that helped us slowly but surely climb the ladder and get to a place where we could win the NCAA title," head coach Jerry Smith said. "This was really something we won on behalf of all the players that have come through our Santa Clara University women's soccer program."
Last Week: Broncos Drop Home Opener for First Time in 14 Years
Santa Clara opened its 2001 NCAA Championship defense with a 3-0 loss to the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal Friday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. The contest marked the first season-opening loss for the Broncos since a 2-1 setback to Sonoma State in 1987. Stanford struck early, as Brittany Oliveira scored in the fifth minute. Marcie Ward and Callie Withers added second-half scores for the Cardinal to complete the shutout. The Broncos were out-shot 16-12 in the contest.
Freshman Micaela Esquivel earned her first collegiate start for the Broncos. A midfielder in high school, Esquivel played at right back for the first time in her career. Additionally, All-WCC performer Bree Horvath also started, although she was expected to miss the first month of the season, after tearing her ACL in April.
Sophomore Trio Wins World Championship with U.S. U19 Team
Returning starters Jessica Ballweg and Leslie Osborne, along with transfer Megan Kakadelas, missed the SCU preseason and Friday's match while competing with the U.S. Under-19 National Team. The sophomore trio helped lead the United States to the first-ever FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship, that took place in Canada over the last two weeks. The U.S. defeated Canada 1-0 in double overtime in the Championship match on Sunday. Osborne and Ballweg were regular starters throughout the tournament, but it was Kakadelas, who came on 105th minute, who created the winning goal just four minutes later. The forward received a pass from Osborne down the left flank and curved in a cross on the ground. The ball rolled across the goal to the cutting Lindsay Tarpley, but she had her first shot attempt blocked. The ball somehow squirted behind the defender as Tarpley went into the tackle and the U.S. captain pounded her shot into the net from close range to end the game.
Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's entire home schedule returns to the Internet, as a live audio broadcast will be available for a second season on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, Buck Shaw contests can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on Santa Clara's official athletic website. By logging on, fans will receive real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer, allowing users to listen to the audio broadcast and keep up with the statistics simultaneously. Ram Fletcher returns as the voice of the Broncos with SCU men's soccer alumni Mark Wojciechowski adding color commentary. The Broncos' student station, KSCU, will air this weekend's contests, while fans can also visit the website for live stats, provided by host Notre Dame.
The Broncos' schedule features 12 opponents that participated in last year's NCAA Tournament, including two of the four 2001 College Cup participants. Additionally, the schedule opens with five of the first six matches against teams that participated in last year's postseason, highlighted by a September 20 showdown with 2001 semifinalist Florida, a team that Santa Clara knocked out of the postseason in overtime last December. Four West Coast Conference teams also made the big dance, and a November 3 contest against semifinalist Portland will highlight league play. With the NCAA title currently in the Broncos' hands, head coach Jerry Smith acknowledges that every time Santa Clara steps on the field this season, their opponent will be playing the national champions, bringing even more determination from an opponent in trying to knock the Broncos from the top.
"We will not understand what we will face in that respect until midway through the season," Smith conceded. "But it's going to be great because we're going to get everybody's best game and that's really going to expose all the weaknesses in our game and give us an opportunity to address those before we get to the playoffs."
Season/Match Tickets On Sale
Season and individual match tickets for Santa Clara University's nationally recognized soccer teams are on sale through the Department of Athletics' official website www.SantaClaraBroncos.com, and the athletic ticket office at 408-554-4660, between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In conjunction with its exclusive Internet partner, Official College Sports Network, the athletic department has developed an online ticket application that provides fans with the ability to purchase season tickets, family plans, individual matches or an all-sports pass via the official athletic website. A men's and women's soccer season ticket package that includes the remaining 18 home matches is available for the adult price of $60 each, while a family plan provides a family of five admission to each game for the low price of $100. Youth (12 and under) and senior (over 65-years-old) season tickets are also available for $30. Single games are priced at $7 for adults, $5 for youths and seniors and $2 for non-Ruff Riders SCU students as well as members of Bronco Kidz. Single match team passes are also available for $35.
More National Team Call Ups
Just as the Broncos are gaining the three sophomores they lost at the start of the season to the U.S. U19 National Team, SCU will not have the services of senior midfielder Devvyn Hawkins this weekend, as she has been called up to the Full National Team. Unfortunately an ankle injury suffered against Stanford will prevent Hawkins from playing with either club. Fellow senior Aly Wagner could also miss matches and weeks of training later in the season while playing with the National Team as it tries to qualify for the 2003 World Cup.
In the Rankings
With the loss to Stanford, Santa Clara fell seven spots to No. 10 in the Soccer America poll, while the NSCAA/adidas listing slid the Broncos 13 spots, to No. 14. Preseason polls by Soccer Times and Soccer Buzz Magazine still list SCU as their No. 1 choice. Eight Bronco opponents are ranked, including this weekend's opponents Notre Dame and Clemson, as well as Portland, Stanford, UCLA, California, Tennessee and Pepperdine.
Up Next: Broncos Continue Road Trips
The Broncos will continue the regular season and a six-match road trip with two regional matches next weekend, against 15th-ranked California in Berkeley, and Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. The Bears lead the series against SCU 12-10-2, while the Broncos have never lost to the Mustangs in 11 tries, with a 9-0-2 mark. Last season, California was only one of two teams to hand the Broncos a loss during the National Championship season, a 2-1 defeat at home in the teams' first outing after Sept. 11. The Broncos opened the regular season last year against Cal Poly with a 3-0 victory.
Wagner #7 Replica Jersey T-Shirts On Sale
Exclusive Offer! Get your replica jersey/t-shirt of national player of the year Aly Wagner. This item will only be available at Buck Shaw Stadium and online at Santa ClaraBroncos.com this fall. Fans from as far east as New York, as far north as South Dakota and as far south as Georgia have already placed their orders. Limited quantities available. Available in Youth and Adult sizes. Order today!
New Coaching Staff
Jerry Smith will lead his 2002 squad with three new assistants, as Mike Smith joins the Broncos from the Oregon Youth Soccer Association as SCU's first assistant. The athletic department created a new full-time second assistant position and brought in Erin Hussey from Northwestern, while former San Jose CyberRay Janine Szpara will join the staff as the goalkeeper coach.
Head Coach Jerry Smith
The number 13 has become a lucky number head coach Jerry Smith (CS Hayward '86), who won his first NCAA College Cup National Championship in his 13th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The 15-year year coach 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 242-60-15 (.787) 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 16 All-Americans, 11 U.S. National Team Players, eight Academic All-Americans and five WCC Freshmen of the Year, including 2001 selection Veronica Zepeda. He coached 1999 National Player of the Year Mandy Clemens.