Nov. 11, 2004
Santa Clara University will face the University of California in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, the NCAA Selection Committee announced Monday afternoon. The Broncos, the 2001 National Champions and 2002 College Cup finalists, are the tournament's 16th overall seed, and will host the first and second rounds of the 23rd NCAA Championship at Buck Shaw Stadium this Friday and Sunday. The Broncos will face the 18th-ranked Bears at 2 p.m. on Friday. No. 18 Stanford and Cal Poly will face each other in the other game at 4:30 p.m. The winners will face each other on Sunday at noon.
The Broncos, ranked fourth in the country with a 14-4-2 record, will be making their 16th straight NCAA postseason appearance. Santa Clara received the West Coast Conference's automatic berth into the Tournament after winning its fourth straight West Coast Conference Championship on November 6. The Broncos have advanced to the College Cup on nine occasions.
On the Opponents
California is 11-5-3 on the season, ranked 18th by Soccer America and earned an at-large berth into the tournament. The Broncos defeated the Bears 3-1 during the regular season, however, the all-time series favors Cal 11-14-3. The 18th-ranked Cardinal (12-5-3) was also an at-large bid, while the Mustangs (11-2-6) won the Big West Conference Championship to earn an automatic berth.
The Rest of the Field
Of the 64 teams selected, 14 are from the West. West Coast Conference opponents Portland, San Diego and Pepperdine were placed in the draw. SCU went 5-3-1 against the tournament field during the regular season. North Carolina is the tournament's top seed, followed by Penn State, Virginia, Notre Dame, Portland, Ohio State, Princeton and Kansas.
The ACC leads all conferences with eight teams in the tournament. Five teams will represent the Big 12, Big 10 and the Pac-10; four teams will represent the WCC. In the championship, 29 conferences were awarded automatic berths with 35 teams receiving at-large selections.
Advancing Through the Championship
The third round will be held Nov. 19-21 and the quarterfinals will be played November 26-28. The 2004 Women's College Cup will be held December 3 and 5 at SAS Stadium and is hosted by North Carolina State University and the Capital Area Soccer League in Cary, N.C.
Match Tickets on Sale
Individual tickets for the first two rounds of the NCAA Championship are on sale through the Department of Athletics' ticket office at 408-554-4660, between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Adult admission is $8 and seniors, youths and students will be admitted for $6.
Squad Watches Selection Show at The Bronco
On Monday afternoon, the coaches and team members watched the selection show at The Bronco and then participated in a press conference. The Bronco is a late-night venue located in the Benson Memorial Center on campus. Friends of the program, athletic department staff, faculty members and other varsity squads were also in attendance.
Broncos Win Fourth-Straight WCC Crown
Santa Clara clinched a share of its fourth-straight West Coast Conference title with a 1-0 victory over Pepperdine in its final regular season match in front of 1,196 fans at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night. The Broncos notched their sixth shut out in a row and seventh consecutive victory to share the title with Portland. The championship is also the eighth in the program's history.
"I am very happy that this team has another West Coast Conference Championship trophy," Jerry Smith said. "I am also very pleased that we are playing well at the most important time of the season."
Senior Bree Horvath provided the game-winner for SCU less than four minutes into the second half. Brittany Klein checked into the match only minutes earlier and made her presence felt as she started the Broncos' strike toward goal. Klein fed Megan Kakadelas, who after advancing the ball, found Horvath less than 10 yards in front of the goal. The Danville native placed her shot into the upper left corner of the net for the match's only score.
Santa Clara dominated the pace of play throughout both halves, outshooting the Waves 7-5. In the first half, the Broncos had many solid scoring opportunities with much of the action taking place in their offensive zone. SCU had seven corner kicks in the first 45 minutes and 10 in the match.
A Variety of Line Ups
Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith has now used 14 different line ups in 20 contests. Injuries have played a role in the line up shifts, but Smith adds that he uses the preseason to experiment with players in different positions and alongside different teammates in preparation for conference play and the postseason.
Osborne a M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Semifinalist
Senior Leslie Osborne is one of 15 semifinalists for the 2004 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top players in NCAA Division I soccer. The list was compiled by the NSCAA, the official selection body for the M.A.C.'s Hermann Trophy. Osborne, a native of Menomonee Falls, Wis., is the WCC's Defensive Player of the Year and is also a preseason All-American by Soccer Buzz and Soccer America magazines. She has seven goals and one assists for 15 points so far this season.
Three finalists will be selected in early December. The winner will be announced at a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., on Jan. 8, 2005.
The award is college soccer's version of the Heisman Trophy. Past recipients include former Broncos Mandy Clemens and Aly Wagner. Clemens won both the Hermann Trophy and M.A.C. Player of the Year awards in 1999, while Wagner became the first honoree to have the distinction of receiving the newly-unified award.
Kakadelas Earns Academic All-District Honors
Megan Kakadelas has been named to the CoSIDA District VIII All-Academic First Team for a second consecutive year. The senior forward from Carlsbad has a 3.806 grade-point average while working toward a degree in Accounting. She has started 16 contests, and has six goals and four assists for 16 points thus far this season. Kakadelas was one of four repeat first-team members from the 2003 selection. The first-team members' names will now be placed on the Academic All-America ballot, with the results of those honorees to be released November 23.
To be eligible for consideration, student-athletes must have reached at least sophomore status, be a starter or significant reserve, and have at least a 3.20 GPA. District VIII is composed of Division I schools in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia.
Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's entire home schedule returned to the Internet, as a live audio broadcast has been 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. SCU men's soccer alumnus Mark Wojciechowski and Ram Fletcher return as the voices of the Broncos, and Emil Dizon joins the crew for selected broadcasts.
Four Broncos Have Earned WCC Player of the Week Honors
Bree Horvath was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for Nov. 8, marking the third Bronco in three weeks to earn the league honor and fourth overall for the season. Horvath scored the game-winner against Pepperdine to clinch the Broncos' fourth straight league crown. Megan Kakadelas received the honor for Nov. 1 for scoring two goals, including the game-winner against Loyola Marymount. Tiffany Roberts' was highlighted on Oct. 25 for her goal to lift SCU over fourth-ranked Portland. Leslie Osborne was the first Bronco recipient of the season on Sept. 20 for her performances in two matches at the Stanford Nike Classic, converting two penalty kicks for two game-winning scores.
In the Rankings
Santa Clara opened the 2004 season ranked in the top five in all four polls and is close to returning there as the postseason begins. This week, the Broncos are ranked as follows: the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America polls place the Broncos fourth. Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times list SCU at No. 6. The Broncos played eight nationally-ranked squads on the regular-season slate.