Aug. 21, 2003
NEW YORK - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team will open the 2003 season ranked No. 1 in the country, according to a preseason poll by Soccer Buzz Magazine. It marks the second top listing for the Broncos, as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced SCU as its top choice as well.
The listing marks the third top mark for the Broncos by Soccer Buzz, as Santa Clara was also ranked first to begin the 1999 and 2002 seasons.
The Broncos will face nine other ranked opponents, according to Soccer Buzz, including six of the top 10. Santa Clara opens the season next Friday against No. 7 UCLA and will also play No. 9 Penn State, No. 10 Virginia and No. 22 California in the opening weeks of the season.
Of the nine ranked squads, Santa Clara will host six at Buck Shaw Stadium. Including the Bruins and the Bears, SCU will also play No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 15 Pepperdine and No. 21 USC, while closing the home schedule against No. 5 Portland on Nov. 2. The Pilots are the defending NCAA champions, having bested the Broncos in double overtime last December.
North Carolina was ranked second in the poll, followed by SCU's Oct. 3 opponent, Stanford. Texas was ranked fourth. West Virginia is ranked eighth to round out the top 10.
Soccer Buzz's complete listing can be found at www.soccerbuzz.com.
The season opener next Friday will kick off at 7 p.m. at Buck Shaw. Last season, the Bruins were ranked third when the Broncos upset them in overtime in Los Angeles. Santa Clara is 4-0 against UCLA in the all-time series between the schools.