August 27, 2003

Women's Soccer Opens 2003 Season on Friday

Aug. 27, 2003

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This Week
The season kicks off against third-ranked UCLA at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 29. 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, although UCLA did score its first goal in the series last season.

The Broncos will continue action on Sunday afternoon, against San Jose State at Spartan Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. Santa Clara has won each of the past seven meetings with SJSU, holds a 29-3 scoring advantage, and has recorded shutouts in the last five games. The contest is part of the annual Rivalry Series between the two schools. The Broncos won last year's series by a 20-10 score. The two schools will also meet in volleyball and cross country this weekend, accounting for 10 of the fall season's 13 overall points.

Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's entire home schedule returns to the Internet, as a live audio broadcast is available for a third season on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, Buck Shaw contests can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on SCU's official athletic website. By logging on, fans can 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 and SCU men's soccer alumni Mark Wojciechowski return as the voices of the Broncos.

Promotions
Friday night against UCLA will be "Meet the Team Night", where fans can meet the players and coaches during a postmatch autograph session. The athletic department will provide posters for the autographs. Additionally, Friday's contest will also celebrate "Santa Clara Rotary Night" and "Pleasanton Friendship Night".

The Schedule
Santa Clara will aim for its 10th overall appearance in the College Cup with the start of the 2003 season. The Broncos' 20-match schedule features 12 programs that advanced to last year's NCAA Championship, including four of the top eight seeds. The Broncos will host eight of those matches at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Fab Freshman Class
Santa Clara has recruited the top class in the country, according to Soccer Buzz and Soccer America magazines. It marks the first time since 1998 that the Broncos have been honored with the top listing by Soccer Buzz. The class includes Marian Dalmy, Tina Estrada, Tiffany Roberts, Julie Ryder, Elyse Shelger and Lauren Zealear. Friday's match against UCLA will pit the No. 1 and No 2 recruiting classes nationally.

In the Rankings
Santa Clara opens the 2003 season ranked in the top five in all four polls. The NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz polls list the Broncos No. 1, while Soccer Times ranks SCU third and Soccer America list the Broncos fourth. The Broncos have seven of the top 10 teams on the schedule and will bring six of the nine in the top 25 to Buck Shaw Stadium.

CSTV to Televise adidas Classic
College Sports Television, the first 24-hour college sports television network, will televise all four games of the 2003 Santa Clara adidas Classic as part of its Soccer Game of the Week package, the network announced jointly with the SCU Department of Athletics.

The adidas Classic, scheduled for Sept. 19 and 21 at Buck Shaw Stadium, features host Santa Clara, Georgia, Notre Dame and Stanford. Stanford plays Notre Dame in the event's opener at 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Friday, while Santa Clara hosts Georgia in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, Georgia plays the Cardinal in the first game at 11 a.m., while Santa Clara hosts the Fighting Irish at 1:30 p.m.

CSTV recently announced plans broadcast between 10-15 matches during the season each Monday as part of its Soccer Game of the Week. The package will feature many of the top men's and women's teams. In addition to Games of the Week for soccer, volleyball, football and hockey, College Sports Television will air additional games throughout the week, as well as selected special presentations of field hockey, men's water polo and cross-country.

College Sports Television has long-term programming and marketing agreements with 27 Division I athletic conferences, including the Atlantic 10, Big East, Big Sky, Big Ten, Big 12, Big West, Conference USA, Ivy League, Mountain West, Sun Belt, WAC and West Coast. The network will televise live regular season and championship events across a broad spectrum of men's and women's college sports, including football, basketball, baseball, soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse. Dedicated to offering the widest variety of college athletics, College Sports Television will provide the most in-depth sports coverage of 1,200 universities and colleges involving 360,000 student-athletes across all of the major conferences at every level of college sports.

Broncos Share Top Spot in WCC Preseason Poll
Portland and Santa Clara, last year's NCAA College Cup finalists, were selected as the favorites to win the WCC crown in the 2003 preseason poll, as selected by the league coaches. Both programs received four first-place votes to tie in this year's poll, with 46 points each. Last season, the Pilots claimed the school's first-ever national title by besting Santa Clara 2-1 in double overtime in the College Cup final. It marked the first time that two WCC schools squared off, in any sport, for a national championship, and just the third time ever that two teams from the same conference met in the women's College Cup finals.

Osborne, Zepeda Named Preseason All-America
Senior Veronica Zepeda and junior Leslie Osborne were named preseason All-Americans by Soccer America Magazine. Both team captains for the Broncos this season, Zepeda is a two-time All-America honoree, while Osborne is an All-WCC performer.

A Look Ahead: The Virginia Classic
Santa Clara will travel across the country to participate in the Virginia Classic in Charlottesville. The Broncos will take on two top-10 opponents, in host No. 9 Virginia and No. 8 Penn State. The Broncos last faced the Cavaliers in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, en route to the National Championship. The series between the schools is tied 2-2. Penn State, a 2002 College Cup participant, has only played against SCU on one other occasion, also in the Tournament, a second round Bronco victory in 1996.

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 17 home matches is available for the adult price of $65 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.

Four Broncos Named to U.S. World Cup Roster
Four former Santa Clara standouts will represent the United States at next month's FIFA Women's World Cup 2003, as U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs named Kylie Bivens, Brandi Chastain, Danielle Slaton and Aly Wagner as four of the 20 players who will play in their home country on women's soccer's grandest stage.

"Having coached all four players, I know how hard they worked prior to attending Santa Clara, while they were here, and since they've left the University," Bronco head coach Jerry Smith said. "There's no doubt that all four deserve to be on the World Cup roster and I couldn't be any more proud or happier for them. I'm also very honored that the Santa Clara women's soccer program could play a role in the development of the players they've become."

Ballweg Trains with Philadelphia Charge
(New Jersey Star-Ledger) -- Jessica Ballweg thought she had the bug, but now she's sure. The WUSA and the NCAA worked out an agreement this past summer to allow college players to train with professional teams, and after working out with the Philadelphia Charge, it didn't take long for the New Jersey native to realize how much she wants to play at the next level.

"I always thought I wanted to play professionally, but I never really experienced it," said Ballweg, a member of the United States team that won the U-19 world championship last year in Canada. "Just being there motivated me into really wanting to do it."

Ballweg, whose first two years at Santa Clara included an NCAA championship in 2001 and runner-up honors last season, trained only a few days with the Charge last month due to scheduling conflicts, but it was enough to open her eyes.

"I play on a really competitive college team, so the level is really high, but I could see a difference in the pro level," the defender said.

Head Coach Jerry Smith
The number 13 became a lucky number for 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 16-year coach earned his sixth WCC Coach of the Year honor when he was named the 2001 co-recipient with Saint Mary's Paul Ratcliffe. Smith has compiled an overall record of 262-65-16 (.787) and earned his 50th WCC victory against Gonzaga during the 2001 season. Additionally, he has coached Santa Clara to 14 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and nine 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 14 campaigns. In 1990 and 2001, 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 and 2002 National Player of the Year Aly Wagner.

Bend it Like Beckham
There's a Santa Clara University twist in the smash-hit soccer movie Bend It Like Beckham. Starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightly (Star Wars: Episode 1--The Phantom Menace), this critically-acclaimed film tells the story of 18-year old Jess' dream to play soccer professionally like her hero, Manchester United star, David Beckham. Bend It Like Beckham may inspire you to chase your own dreams! Check out www.foxsearchlight.com/bendit for more details and look for Bend it Like Beckham coming to a theatre near you.

2002 in Review
Santa Clara played for the 2002 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship for the second straight season, falling in overtime to conference rival Portland, at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. The Broncos, the 2001 National Champions, were the tournament's sixth overall seed, and hosted the first four rounds of the 21st NCAA Championship, topping Creighton and Arizona State, both at 5-1 finals, 3-2 over Nebraska, and 3-1 over Michigan in the quarterfinal. Santa Clara opened its ninth overall appearance in the College Cup with a 2-1 victory over North Carolina.

The Broncos finished the season with a 20-5-1 record, making their 14th straight NCAA postseason appearance. Santa Clara received an at-large berth in the 2002 Tournament after earning a share of the West Coast Conference Championship on November 9.