Aug. 11, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team received some early-season kudos Friday as Soccer Buzz magazine ranked the Broncos No. 2 in the nation in its preseason Top 30 poll. The Broncos were one of three schools on the West Coast in the top five, as 2006 opponents UCLA (No. 1) and Portland (No. 5) also showed up in the leading quintet.
The No. 2 ranking is the highest SCU has been in any of the four national women's soccer polls since Soccer Buzz had the Broncos ranked second in its 2004 preseason poll. Santa Clara climbed as high as No. 3 last season after defeating then-No. 1 Notre Dame in September.
"I think that to your players, you can spin a ranking any which way you want, and whether you have a high or low ranking it can be a motivational factor and a trap," said head coach Jerry Smith. "I think we're experienced enough to avoid falling into the trap of overconfidence from a high ranking while at the same time it could be motivating for our team. We do have a lot of talent and experience, and we have high expectations."
The Soccer Buzz Top 30 also features ten of Santa Clara's opponents in 2006, led by the top-ranked Bruins, third-ranked Notre Dame and the fifth-ranked Pilots. Additionally, fellow WCC schools Pepperdine (No. 20) and Gonzaga (No. 25) checked in with top-25 slots to join the Santa Clara and Portland.
Santa Clara opens the 2006 season the weekend of August 25-27 with the Santa Clara adidas Classic at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos will kick things off Friday the 25th at 7:30 pm against the No. 26 Wake Forest Demon Deacons before concluding opening weekend action against the Utah Utes at 1:30 pm Sunday, August 27.