September 27, 2005

Rivalry Series Takes to the Pitch Wednesday Night

Sept. 27, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Coming off of Sunday's win over Cal Poly in what head coach Jerry Smith called their best performance of the season thus far, the Santa Clara women's soccer team will aim to turn in another solid effort in Wednesday night's Rivalry Series match against San Jose State at Spartan Stadium.

"What we're trying to do is perform at a consistent level, which we haven't done yet this year. Tomorrow's match is a chance to build off of that," said Smith about what the Broncos look to accomplish Wednesday night. "This match is more about ourselves and a chance to see if we can prepare ourselves and have the maturity and focus to perform properly. This middle of the year will show if we can be a disciplined team that can perform consistently."

The fifth-ranked Broncos (7-1-1) lead the overall series against the Spartans (0-8-2) 9-0-0 and in those nine victories have shut the Spartans out six times. Santa Clara has outscored San Jose State 41-4 in the nine wins, including thumpings of 8-0 in 2001 and 9-1 in 2003. Last season the Broncos got goals from seniors Leslie Osborne, Megan Kakadelas, and Monika Sola and the defense held the Spartans to only two shots in a 3-0 victory at Buck Shaw Stadium.

This year, 21 of the 26 Broncos on the active roster have seen action, and Smith plans to continue to use his squad's depth to press the action and wear down the opposition. This weekend alone, 18 players saw action in Friday night's 2-1 win over Saint Louis and 17 took the field during Sunday's 2-0 shutout of then-No. 19 Cal Poly.

"There are a number of people who can contribute on any given day," commented Smith. "We're going to be looking to use a number of different players and that will keep everyone just a little more fresh and also keep up the competition on the team, which will increase the intensity on the field."

It will be a tall order for the Spartan defense to handle the Broncos' depth, as Santa Clara had a fine offensive weekend, led by Jordan Angeli's two-goal performance Sunday. On Friday night against Saint Louis, Meagan Snell netted her first goal of the season as she buried a second-chance shot into the back of the net at the 14:30 mark. She again had a hand in a Bronco score as her touch pass between two defenders found Brittany Klein streaking through the box to beat Billiken keeper Abby Goellner for the eventual game-winner.

Sunday against Cal Poly, Angeli turned in her second multi-goal performance of the season. In the 23rd minute she lofted a header over goalkeeper Liz Hill to open the scoring and then struck again late, one-timing a Tiffany Roberts cross to put the match on ice in the 86th minute.

The defense shut down the Mustang attack, disrupting their flow and never letting them build a sustained attack into the Bronco half. As part of the defensive effort, junior defender Lauren Zealear was named to Top Drawer Soccer's National Team of the Week.

The Rivalry Series, an annual competition between the two university's 13 intercollegiate sports, kicks off with the schools' volleyball teams taking the court at the Leavey Center tonight and will continue with the women's and men's soccer matches on Wednesday and Thursday nights, respectively, at Spartan Stadium. Santa Clara has captured every single Rivalry Series cup since its inception in 2002. For tickets, contact each school's athletic ticket office. Santa Clara's can be reached by calling (408) 554-4660. In addition, Santa Clara will admit San Jose State students for its $2 price. Members of SCU's Ruff Riders spirit organization are encouraged to wear their official club t-shirt to the game.