Broncos Face Two Top-10 Teams This Weekend
Sept. 15, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Anyone who thought the No. 3 Santa Clara women's soccer team would get a little break after knocking off the then-No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish last week is sorely mistaken.
The Broncos (4-0-1) continue their home schedule Friday, as they begin a weekend of matches against Top-10 teams by hosting the 2004 national runner-up and currently sixth-ranked UCLA Bruins (5-1-0) Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. After the tension-packed victory over the Fighting Irish, the Broncos are prepared for the same type of atmosphere when they face off against the Bruins.
"It always helps playing a team like Notre Dame in the sense of gauging the speed of the game, the aggressiveness and the competitive nature of what you are going to experience, and I think we'll see a similar type of effort from UCLA," said head coach Jerry Smith. "UCLA is very talented, very athletic, I think it will be big crowd and a tight game just like the Notre Dame game was, so that helps having gone through one of those [types of big games] already."
The home match against UCLA will kick off a special doubleheader in which the seventh-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team takes on the Stanford Cardinal at 8 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by clicking here. Both games of the doubleheader will feature live online coverage through an audio broadcast and the popular Gametracker.
Friday's game will also feature the return of the Santa Clara University student body. All SCU students who are members of Ruff Riders, the school's official student spirit organization, receive free admission with a valid ACCESS card. For incoming students, Ruff Rider memberships will be available at the front gate of Buck Shaw Stadium or registration is available online by clicking here.
Santa Clara will cap off weekend action by taking part in a second doubleheader with the men's team, as both squads will travel to Berkeley to take on the California Golden Bears. The Bronco women will take the field against the Golden Bears at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon in a rematch of last year's first-round NCAA Tournament match, won 2-1 by Santa Clara at Buck Shaw Stadium.
"Cal is top-10 also, and we've kind of been the team that keeps them from going on in the NCAA Tournament, so I think they have a real axe to grind against our team," commented Smith. "I think probably we are the team they want to get past so they can gain some confidence in knowing that they can go on in the tournament. Certainly with Cal there's also a Bay Area rivalry, and we all want to claim to be the best team in the Bay Area."
The Broncos will look to extend their five-match unbeaten streak, only the first time since the 1995-99 seasons that the team has gone unbeaten through the first five matches of the season. After opening up at home with a 2-0 win over Arizona State, the Broncos traveled to Wake Forest where they battled to a scoreless tie with the Demon Deacons before defeating Virginia Tech 3-1 in the ACC/WCC Challenge.
Last weekend Santa Clara returned home from the East Coast to host the Santa Clara adidas Classic. In a tightly-contested match the Broncos got the game-winning goal from forward Jordan Angeli in the 84th minute to upend the top-ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, 2-1. Angeli also played a role in a 1-0 Bronco victory over Cal State Fullerton Sunday afternoon as she assisted on Kendall Doherty's 47th minute score.
For her efforts in leading the Broncos to the tournament title, which included scoring both goals in the win over Notre Dame and assisting on the game-winner over Fullerton, Angeli took home a slew of conference and national honors. Besides being named tournament MVP, she was named WCC Player of the Week, selected to three national teams of the week (Soccer America, Soccer Buzz, and Top-Drawer Soccer), and finally named Soccer America's National Player of the Week.
"I think Jordan will score a lot more goals for us this season," Smith added. "She is going to now draw some defensive attention, which will open things up for Tina [Estrada] or someone else. Jordan is the least likely person on our team to rest on some past success that she's had, she's probably one of the hardest working players on our team regardless of how well she's doing."
Junior goalkeeper Julie Ryder, sophomore midfielder Brittany Klein, and junior midfielder/forward Lauren Zealear were also selected to the All-Tournament team for their outstanding performances last weekend.
UCLA, led by the scoring of freshman forward Kara Lang (four goals) and sophomore midfielder Danesha Adams (three goals) and a back line which has only surrendered two goals in six matches, split its matches last weekend hosting the UCLA Women's Cup. After falling to No. 4 Penn State 1-0 in a double-overtime thriller, the Bruins rebounded by blanking Colorado 2-0 as keeper Valerie Henderson recorded her third shutout of the season.
The Broncos will remain in the Bay Area following this weekend's action as they host a pair of matches at Buck Shaw Stadium, beginning with a Sept. 23 contest against Saint Louis at 8 p.m . and concluding with a Sept. 25 match against No. 17 Cal Poly at 1 p.m.