Aug. 5, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team has been selected as the eighth-best team in the nation heading into the new season, according to Soccer Buzz Magazine.
Santa Clara was selected by the West Coast Conference coaches to finish second in the league this season, behind preseason favorite Portland. The Pilots were selected fourth in the Soccer Buzz poll. For the complete poll, click here.
The Broncos, led by head coach Jerry Smith in his 19th season at Santa Clara, return seven starters and 17 letterwinners from last year's team that finished with an 18-5-2 record and advanced to the College Cup for the 10th time in school history. Santa Clara defeated Cal and Stanford in the first two rounds of the tournament before downing top-ranked North Carolina 1-0 in overtime on the road in Chapel Hill.
Following a convincing 2-0 victory over Illinois in the NCAA quarterfinals, the Broncos dropped a narrow 1-0 decision to Notre Dame in the semifinals.
Among the returning starters is junior forward Tina Estrada, the team's leading scorer last season with eight goals and five assists. The Fremont, Calif. native has started 42 of the 46 games she has played in her first two seasons as a Bronco and is one of a number of players who will contend for national honors this season.
Santa Clara opens its season August 26 in a 7 p.m. contest against Arizona State at Buck Shaw Stadium. Season tickets are available by calling 408/554-4660 or by clicking here.