Sept. 10, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's soccer team (3-2-0) welcomes three top-10 squads to the Mission Campus this weekend for the 14th annual Santa Clara Classic, hosting third-ranked Stanford (5-0-0), fifth-ranked Notre Dame (3-1-0), and seventh-ranked Purdue (5-0-0). The Broncos will clash with the Fighting Irish on Friday at 7:30 p.m. before taking on the Boilermakers Sunday in the tournament's final match at 1:30 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Cardinal will also play against both Indiana teams, opening the tournament against Purdue at 5 p.m. Friday before preceding Sunday's Santa Clara match with a contest against Notre Dame at 11 a.m. Stanford and Santa Clara will not play each other until the Broncos host the Cardinal in the Bay Area Super Clasico match at Buck Shaw on Thursday, Oct. 1.
The Broncos will be the underdog in their own tournament for the first time in a while, having fallen out of the NSCAA rankings after this weekend's loss to Maryland. Santa Clara may be able to improve its status should the outcomes of this weekend's matches be favorable.
The Broncos feature seven different goalscorers this season, and are led by redshirt senior Jordan Angeli's two. Angeli also leads in points with five, while junior Maxine Goynes leads in assists with two. Sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Henninger holds a 0.59 goals-against-average and has made eight saves while adding an assist against San Jose State. In five games, the Bronco defense has only allowed two goals in the run of play (the third came on a dead ball restart).
LAST WEEK'S RECAP
Santa Clara was stunned by Maryland 1-0 in College Park, Md. but bounced back to split the weekend, winning over Georgetown 2-1 in overtime. Angeli was credited with the game-winner on Sunday against the Hoyas, knocking in a loose ball in the box after senior Kiki Bosio's flip throw-in.
SCOUTING NORTE DAME
The Irish have picked up three shutout victories over regional opponents Wisconsin, Loyola-Chicago, and Milwaukee, while suffering a 6-0 blowout loss to top-ranked North Carolina. Additionally, in two exhibition matches, Notre Dame defeated the Ireland National Team 1-0 in Indianapolis and tied Virginia 3-3 in a three-30-minute-period scrimmage. Sophomore Melissa Henderson leads the Irish attack with four goals and one assist for nine points, while junior Lauren Fowlkes has notched two goals. Senior netminder Kelsey Lysander is the most probable starter in goal and carries a 1.73 goals-against-average in three games played after giving up four to the Tar Heels. Santa Clara is 5-9-0 all-time against Notre Dame, but the last time the two teams met on Buck Shaw in 2007 the Broncos shocked the Irish and rolled to a 7-1 victory. Also, Santa Clara is 2-1 against Notre Dame in home matches since 2000.
The Boilermakers are undefeated after dropping Ohio, Butler, Valparaiso, and Ball State, but their biggest win of the season came over then-sixth-ranked Texas A&M, besting the Aggies 3-2 in College Station. Redshirt senior Jessica Okoroafo leads the Big-10 side with five goals and three assists, while five others have registered at least two goals. All three goalkeepers have seen action, but Jenny Bradfisch is the clear starter and owns a 0.80 GAA in five games and has posted 12 saves. Sunday's match against Purdue will be the first time in history the two teams will meet.
COLLEGE CUP REMATCH
The Santa Clara Classic should prove to be the marquee women's college soccer event of the regular season in the Bay Area, if not the nation. Along with featuring three nationally-ranked top-10 teams and a traditional women's soccer power in Santa Clara, Stanford and Notre Dame's clash on Sunday is a rematch of the 2008 College Cup semifinal. The Irish came out on top 1-0 and moved on to the final, where they were defeated by North Carolina, but the tight game could have easily gone the other way for the Cardinal, who feature a similar starting-11 this season minus two seniors lost to graduation.
Representatives of the Bay Area FC Gold Pride will be on hand for this weekend's tournament. The Gold Pride are proud to be a community partner in Bay Area youth soccer and will be out to support those attending all four matches. Fans can stop by to purchase tickets for the 2010 season, participate in fun activities and there is a possibility that some players may be available to meet and greet with fans.
SANTA CLARA MEN
Following Sunday's women's matches, the Santa Clara men will take on Sacramento State at 7 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. The game will be part of a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1989 National Championship season. Team members and their families will be honored at halftime when there will be a special video presentation.
FOLLOW SANTA CLARA ONLINE
Gametracker live scoring will be available for all four matches this weekend and in addition, both Santa Clara matches will be video streamed on All-Access. Links to Gametracker and All-Access can be found on the women's soccer schedule on santaclarabroncos.com.
WCC PRESEASON POLL
The Bronco women have been picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference in the annual preseason poll and are aiming to return to the NCAA Tournament for the 20th time under head coach Jerry Smith, who is currently 344-103-34 while at the helm of Santa Clara.
Following this weekend's matches the Broncos remain in the Bay Area and will travel north up El Camino for the Stanford/Nike Invitational where they will take on Wisconsin and No. 20 Colorado.