August 23, 2006

Former SCU Standout Jessica Ballweg Joins Rutgers Women's Soccer Staff

Aug. 23, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - New Jersey native and former Santa Clara standout Jess Ballweg has been appointed the coordinator of operations for the Rutgers women's soccer program, seventh-year head coach Glenn Crooks has announced. Ballweg starred on the Mission Campus from 2001-05, and graduated following last season as the last active member of SCU's 2001 National Championship team.

"We're very fortunate to have someone like Jess join the staff," said Crooks. "Like the other members of the coaching staff, she's had a high level of success as an athlete, winning a national championship with Santa Clara. "

"When these people speak, players should listen, and ours do," he continued. "We're surrounded by people who have had success at a very high level so they know how to get there, and that's what Jess brings to the program."

With the announcement, Ballweg becomes the third former Bronco to be named a college assistant coach during the 2006 offseason. Danielle Slaton joined the Northwestern women's soccer staff and Anna Kraus was named an assistant at Menlo College.

As a freshman, Ballweg helped lead Santa Clara to its first national championship, assisting on the game-winning goals in the quarterfinal, semifinal and championship matches of the 2001 tournament. A selection to the Soccer America All-Freshman Team, she twice was named to the NCAA Tournament All-College Cup Team (2001-2002) as well as the 2002 NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Defensive Player as Santa Clara again reached the national final during her sophomore campaign. Ballweg moved from outside attacking back to the central defense as a junior, helping to anchor a unit that allowed just four goals during conference play. She was named to the 2003 All-West Coast Conference Team and received Union County's Joseph R. Lombardi Memorial Award as the outstanding female athlete of the year. Ballweg's senior season ended abruptly when she suffered a leg fracture during the first match, an injury that sidelined her until the 2005 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. In all, she started 70 of 73 career matches, contributing 18 points (5 g, 8 a) and two game-winning goals.

Ballweg also was an active member of U.S. Soccer, starting in the 2002 FIFA Under-19 World Championship (Alberta, Canada) and the 2002 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament (Tobago), both of which were won by the Americans. A national team member for four years, she also was a member of the Under-21 Team.

"It's great to come home to New Jersey and become a part of the Scarlet Knight program," said Ballweg. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Glenn and his staff and I am sure it will be a great learning experience. It's also very exciting to be able to work with such a highly motivated and talented group of players, and I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with them."

A native of Metuchen, NJ, she was the 2001 Parade National High School Defender of the Year at Union Catholic Regional High School, a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American and the 2000 NSCAA, Star-Ledger and Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year. Ballweg registered 83 goals and 91 assists during her career, leading Union Catholic to two conference and three county titles, as well as three trips to the state sectional finals. She played club ball with the PDA Dynamo under current RU associate head coach Mike O'Neill, winning four State Cup crowns.

Ballweg graduated from Santa Clara in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in English and is a USSF "D" licensed coach.