Feb. 2, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Following a 2005 season in which the Santa Clara University women's soccer team extended the nation's longest streak by reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals for the 11th-straight season, head coach Jerry Smith announced earlier this week the signing of six new Broncos to National Letters of Intent. This group of new Broncos hoping to help lead Santa Clara to its 11th College Cup appearance in 2006 are Jenna Belcher of Rolling Hills Estates, Kiki Bosio of Mission Viejo, Lindsey Johnson of Phoenix, Ariz., Elizabeth Moul of San Jose, Alexa Orand of Orange, and Katherine Reynolds of Medina, Wash.
"This 2006 recruiting class ranks among the best to have come to Santa Clara," said head coach Jerry Smith of the six new Broncos. "These six recruits have a tremendous amount of potential, we got everything we were looking for in this class, forward players and back players.
Smith's 2006 recruiting class has already begun turning heads, as Soccer Buzz magazine considers it in the Top 10 in the nation. Another advantage for the Broncos is that many of the new recruits have already spent time on the field with their future SCU teammates in national team camps and on the various national and youth teams.
"That certainly gives us a head start," Smith noted about the familiarity the new Broncos will already have with the incumbent Broncos. "Being a fall sport, one of the real challenges is to prepare a team in only a few weeks of practice before the start of the season. When you can bring in players who are already familiar with our own players here, it certainly gives you an advantage."
Santa Clara Women's Soccer Recruiting Class of 2006
D Jenna Belcher
Belcher, an NSCAA/adidas All-America and defender on the U-16 and U-17 National Teams, is ranked as one of the Top 25 recruits in the nation by Soccer Buzz magazine. With the Laguna Hills Eclipse club team, Belcher was a part of an Eclipse squad that in 2005 won the State, Regional and National Championships. In the classroom, she carries a 4.15 overall grade-point average, is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and for all four years of high school was a member of the Principal's Honor Roll and California Scholarship Federation (CSF).
"Jenna, along with Kiki Bosio, helped her 2005 club team to a national championship, and with that brings championship national and youth team experience to our back line," said Smith. "She is one of the most tactically-aware defenders in youth soccer."
F Kiki Bosio
Also a Top-25 recruit according to Soccer Buzz, forward Kiki Bosio was named NSCAA/adidas All-America from 2003-05 as well as a Parade Magazine All-American and High School Sports All-American in 2005. Bosio was a member of the U-17 National Team in 2004 and was an alternate on the U-19 team that finished third in the U-19 World Championships in Thailand. She was a member of the Laguna Hills Eclipse team that was the USYSA National Champions in 2002 and 2005 along with fellow recruit Jenna Belcher and future Bronco teammates Courtney Lewis and Brittany Klein. Academically, Bosio graduated early from Capistrano Valley High School where she was on the Honor Roll for all four years and well as being a member of CSF in her first two. In her senior year she was one of only three students at her school to receive the KIWANIS Club community and academic achievement award.
"Kiki will bring national team and championship experience to our front line," noted Smith. "Coming in she will certainly compete for a starting position here at Santa Clara."
D Lindsey Johnson
Johnson, a defender out of Xavier College Prep in Phoenix, Ariz., is another member of the youth national programs to join the Broncos in 2006. In 2004 Johnson was part of the U-16 team before moving up to the U-17 squad in 2005. She also traveled with the U-18 Women's adidas All-Star Team to Germany and the Netherlands in March 2005. Johnson plays for the 88 Sereno Golden Eagles club team, and was part of the 2003 squad that was Region IV champions and National Runners-up. Her Sereno team has also captured the Surf Cup the past two years in a row. In the classroom, Johnson boasts a 3.12 GPA and was named to Xavier's second honor roll.
"Lindsey will be the only naturally left-footed player on the team," Smith commented about the young defender. "She also brings youth national team experience to the team and will compete for the left-back position opened by the graduation of Micaela Esquivel, and the center-back position created by the graduation of Catherine Sigler."
D Elizabeth Moul
A local product from Archibishop Mitty High School, Moul will be the fifth member of her immediate family to attend Santa Clara University, following in the footsteps of parents Michael ('73) and Joanne ('74) and brothers Michael ('03) and Kevin ('05). Moul was a four-year starter for the Monarchs and earned first-team All-WCAL honors her junior season as well as Most Valuable Defender honors. She was part of the California Youth Soccer Association's (CYSA) U-15 and U-16 Olympic Development Program (ODP) and has been invited to join the USYSL's U-18 National ODP Camp. She plays club soccer for the Santa Clara Sporting Scorchers and in the classroom has been named to the Dean's List all four years.
"Elizabeth is a local product who follows in a long line of family members who have come to Santa Clara," Smith said about Moul's Santa Clara ties. "She will compete for playing time on our back line and will be one of the most aggressive players and best `headers' on the team."
F Alexa Orand
Forward Alexa Orand, the third Top-25 recruit according to Soccer Buzz to join the Santa Clara women's soccer program, comes north from Orange, Calif. In 2005 she was named the adidas All-American Youth Soccer Player of the Year and has been named to the High School All-American team the past three years. On the national level, Orand has played for the U-16, U-17 and U-19 National teams and was part of the U-19 team that finished third at the World Championships in Thailand. Orand has also been a member of the Slammers Futbol Club since her U-12 days, playing the U-14 team that won the national title, the U-16 team that were national finalists, and the U-17 squad that reached the final four. Academically Orand is ranked in the Top 10 in her class, was nominated for the Harvard Book Award and has been honored as a scholar-athlete at El Modena High School all four years.
"Alexa is another of our recruits who brings national and youth world championship experience to the team," Smith said. "She was the youngest person to play in the last U-19 World Championship for the United States."
F/M Katherine Reynolds
An honor roll student at University Prep in Washington, Reynolds has earned team MVP honors three times and is the captain of a team that captured the 2004 state title. She was named 2005 Washington State Soccer Athlete of the Year and was also part of the ODP Region IV squad. She is a member of the Eastside FC 87 club team and is a two-sport star, being a two-time state track athlete of the year.
"In Katherine Reynolds she is probably the best athlete in the class," said Smith. "She has the versatility of playing outside back or up on the front line for us and will compete for playing time at both spots."
Santa Clara traditionally recruits nationally-recognized classes, including this year's junior class, who were tabbed 15th by Soccer Buzz magazine as incoming freshmen. SCU's current senior class was ranked tops by Soccer America and Soccer Buzz, after Smith signed four players with National Team experience who are now All-West Coast Conference honorees: goalkeeper Julie Ryder, forward Tina Estrada, and defenders Lauren Zealear and Marian Dalmy. Also included in that class were All-WCC second-team player Tiffany Roberts and Elyse Shelger, who boasted regional ODP backgrounds. Soccer Buzz also listed Santa Clara's 1998 signing class as best in the country. The group featured a trio of student-athletes who led the Broncos to the program's first College Cup title: Aly Wagner, Danielle Slaton and Anna Kraus.
This past fall, Santa Clara advanced to its 11th-straight NCAA Quarterfinal, falling to Penn State 2-1 in frigid conditions in Happy Valley. Earlier in the season, Smith reached a milestone of his own as he became only the third head coach to join the 300-Win Club as Santa Clara defeated Saint Louis 2-1 on Sept. 23, 2005 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The Broncos played arguably one of the toughest schedules in the country, which included wins over such nationally-ranked teams as Notre Dame, California, CS Fullerton and Boston College.