February 15, 2006

Women's Soccer Celebrates 2005 At Annual Banquet

Feb. 15, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer program, which reached its 11th-consecutive NCAA Quarterfinal this past season, held its annual awards banquet at the Adobe Lodge on campus and recognized a number of outstanding team and individual performances that contributed to the team's success in 2005.

At the banquet, which featured an appetizer and cocktail hour as well as dinner, friends, family and community members joined the Bronco student-athletes and coaches in toasting the many achievements of the team in 2005.

In voting done by teammates and coaches, All-America Honorable Mention defender Marian Dalmy was named Player of the Year. First-team All-WCC honoree Tina Estrada was named the team's Most Valuable Player for Offense while All-WCC second team member Lauren Zealear earned the Most Valuable Player for Defense award. Senior and All-WCC honorable mention Micaela Esquivel was voted the team's Most Inspirational Player and junior forward Elyse Shelger went home with the Most Improved Player honor for the second-straight year. Freshman midfielder Hayley Siegel earned the Coaches Award in voting done by the coaches.

The individual honors earned by the student-athletes for their performances on the playing field and in the classroom were recognized as well. These honors came from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Soccer Buzz and Soccer America magazines, ESPN the Magazine and the West Coast Conference, among others.

The team's underclassmen also honored the 2005 senior class of Jessica Ballweg, Esquivel and Catherine Sigler.

In 2005, Santa Clara advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinal Round for the 11th-straight time, continuing the longest such current streak by any school in the nation. The team finished with a 17-5-2 record, which included a dramatic 2-1 victory on Sept. 9 over then-No. 1 Notre Dame at Buck Shaw Stadium. On Sept. 23, head coach Jerry Smith became only the third member of the elite 300-Win club among Division I women's soccer coaches as the Broncos defeated Saint Louis 2-1.

"The banquet was a wonderful celebration of the 2005 season. The night was filled with wonderful team and individual accomplishments," Smith said. "The highlight of the evening was honoring our senior players: Cat Sigler, Jessica Ballweg, and Micaela Esquivel. It was fun for all to look back on the wonderful experiences, on and off the field, for those three outstanding student-athletes."

Also shown for the attendees' entertainment was a highlight film from the 2005 season. Lisa Smyth, a cousin of former Bronco Kristi Candau, has been kind enough to share photos of the event.