Nov. 3, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - With very successful 2006 regular seasons wrapping up this weekend for the Santa Clara University men's and women's soccer teams, Santa Clara Athletics will host a Selection Show viewing and press conference for both teams in The Bronco in Benson Memorial Center on the campus of Santa Clara University on Monday, Nov. 6. ESPNEWS will air the unveiling of the 64-team women's field between 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. PT, and the men's 48-team field will be revealed between 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. PT.
Immediately following the announcement of each sport's tournament field, there will be a question-and-answer session with each team's head coach and selected players. Media members that would like to attend should contact the media relations department at 408-554-2114. All Santa Clara faculty, staff, students, and fans are also invited to attend this annual event.
The Santa Clara men (11-3-4, 7-1-2 WCC), under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Cameron Rast (`92), enter their final weekend of action having already clinched the program's ninth West Coast Conference title by virtue of last Sunday's 2-0 win over Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. Senior Keith DeVey leads the team with five goals, while junior Peter Lowry and freshmen Jeff Cosgriff and Amaechi Igwe have all netted four goals. The rock-solid defense, featuring Matt Hatzke, Matt Marquess, and Jamil Roberts as well as goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta, the WCC Player of the Month in October, boasts seven shutouts and a goals against average of 0.85.
This weekend, the men will face Portland at Buck Shaw Stadium Friday night at 7:00 p.m., before honoring seniors DeVey and Erik Ustruck in Senior Day ceremonies prior to Sunday's 1:00 p.m. match against Gonzaga.
With the WCC's automatic NCAA Tournament berth in hand, the Broncos will eagerly await word on if they have earned one of the tournament's prized Top-16 seeds, which would ensure a bye into the second round where they would host the winner of a preliminary round match.
On the women's side of things, head coach Jerry Smith, in his 20th season on the Mission Campus, has positioned his fiery squad for a chance at its ninth WCC title this weekend. With a victory over the Saint Mary's Gaels Saturday afternoon in Moraga, the Broncos will clinch at least a share of the WCC title, and by virtue of their 3-2 victory over second-place Portland on Nov. 19, will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the team's 18th consecutive postseason trip.
Junior forward Meagan Snell, the team's leading scorer with 11 goals and 25 points, and senior defender and team captain Marian Dalmy, the WCC's leading scorer among defenders with five goals and six assists, have paced the Bronco attack all year with their clutch play and six combined game-winning goals. The notoriously tough defense, which along with Dalmy includes senior outside back Hillary Schwarzbach and central defenders Dani Potts and Lauren Zealear, has combined to blank 11 opponents in 2006, while goalkeepers Meagan McCray (seven shutouts, 0.63 GAA) and Julie Ryder (one shutout, 0.51 GAA) form arguably the best goalkeeping tandem in the nation.
The team's trek to an 11th College Cup will begin with Monday's selection show, in which the Broncos will hope for one of the tournament's four No. 1 seeds. Last season, as a No. 2 seed, the Broncos reached the quarterfinal round for the 11th consecutive year, extending the nation's longest current streak.
First round matches for the women's tournament will kick off Thursday and Friday, Nov. 9-10, while on the men's side, preliminary round matches are set to take place on Nov. 10-11. Times and sites are to be determined.
The men's and women's NCAA College Cups will both take place over the weekend of Dec. 1-3, with the men playing in St. Louis, Mo. and the women in Cary, N.C.