Sept. 14, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Coming off of a weekend which featured a pair of wins over top-10 teams, the No. 3 Santa Clara University women's soccer team looks to keep things rolling this Friday and Sunday as they battle two more ranked squads at the Stanford Nike Classic. Friday night, the Broncos take on the No. 24 Boston University Terriers and on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. face the No. 9 Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Stanford's Maloney Field.
Following this weekend's action, the Broncos will return to Buck Shaw Stadium for a five-match homestand, beginning next Friday, Sept. 22 with an 8 p.m. match against the UCLA Bruins. Friday's match will be part of an SCU soccer doubleheader as the men's squad will open up the night with a 6 p.m. Rivalry Series battle against San Jose State.
Last week, the third-ranked Broncos captured two victories at the UCLA Women's Cup in Los Angeles, overcoming a one-goal deficit to defeat then-No. 9 Connecticut 2-1 in double-overtime, and then subduing the then-No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies by a 2-0 score Sunday.
Junior forward Meagan Snell was one of the major factors in the weekend's success, as she scored a pair of goals to extend her goal-scoring streak to four matches, becoming only the eighth player in Santa Clara history to score in as many consecutive matches. Her goal against the Huskies equalized Friday's contest, while her rocket Sunday gave the Broncos the 1-0 lead and held up as the game-winner. For her performance, Snell was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week and earned a spot on both the Soccer America and Scoccer Buzz National Teams of the Week.
"Meagan's offensive performance has been critical for us, as she has been the only veteran player to see regular time on our front line, so we're really hoping that she can show these younger players what we're looking for in our forwards," head coach Jerry Smith said of Snell. "In the absence of [an injured] Tina Estrada and Jordan, who was our leading goal-scorer last year, Meagan'sreally filled that void very nicely for us and I think she'll continue to do that for us."
Jordan Angeli and Amanda Poach also made their 2006 debuts for Santa Clara, returning to sunny California after spending the past month in Russia at the FIFA Under-20 World Championships with the United States U-20 National Team. The duo wasted no time in making their presence felt, as Angeli assisted on Snell's goal against UConn, while Poach's corner kick led to Chioma Igwe's header for the game-winning goal in double overtime.
"I was very pleased with the performances of Jordan and Amanda, what they offer more than fitness or sharpness is leadership and confidence," Smith said of the National team duo. "They are both such great leaders and players that our whole team has more confidence on the field when they are there. Their leadership, more than anything else, is what we benefited from this past weekend."
Friday night's match between the Broncos and Terriers will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The No. 24 Terriers (4-1-1) defeated Fairfield 1-0 Tuesday for their fourth shutout of the season. BU, which garnered attention in last year's NCAA Tournament by upsetting Connecticut in the first round, is led by Farrell McClernon's three goals while goalkeeper Stephanie Dreyer has gone the distance in all six of the team's matches, posting four shutouts and a goals-against average of 0.64.
"We know very little about Boston, but they are a quality team, having beaten Connecticut in last year's NCAA Tournament, and defeated Boston College earlier this season, so we're expecting a tough contest, which is always what we look for in our preseason schedule," Smith commented on the Terriers.
The ninth-ranked Lady Volunteers (3-1-1) are coming off of their first weekend sweep of the season as they defeated UNC Greensboro and Middle Tennessee to capture the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic title. Tennessee is led by tournament Offensive MVP Emily Redberg's three goals on the season, and goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson's two shutouts and 0.56 goals-against average.
Sunday's meeting between the Broncos and Lady Vols will be only the second such, as the Broncos captured a 2-1 overtime win at Buck Shaw Stadium on Sept. 29, 2002.
"In Tennessee we know a lot more about their program and the way that they play," Smith said. "Tennessee offers a team a little bit like Texas A&M, they have wins over North Carolina in their history, and there aren't many teams in the country that have that. Coach Angela Kelly played at North Carolina, so the tactics are similar. Tennessee is a very athletic, physically fit and deep team. I expect we'll have a similar match against them as we did against Texas A&M."