Local Rivalry Revisited On NCAA Stage: No. 11 Santa Clara vs. No. 1 Stanford
Catch Up With SCU Goalie Bianca Henninger
Nov. 18, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 11 Santa Clara women's soccer team has advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in program history (12-1-1 overall) after defeating Michigan State and Oklahoma State in the first two rounds at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos must now take on undefeated and top-ranked Stanford (22-0-0) in front of a sold-out stadium at The Farm Friday night at 7 p.m. if they hope to reach their 15th NCAA Quarterfinal.
It is the ninth time since 1998 (when the tournament was expanded to 48 teams) and sixth time since 2001 (64-team tournament) that Santa Clara has advanced to the third round of the tournament.
The Broncos and Cardinal have met six times previously in the NCAA Tournament, though never in the third round. Santa Clara holds a 5-1 edge in the series and the Stanford last defeated the Broncos in the postseason in 1991, while Santa Clara has three first round victories (1995, '96, 2003), one second round triumph (2004), and one quarterfinal win (1992). Four of the matches have gone into extra minutes, including the most recent in 2004, when the Broncos won 1-0.
Santa Clara last defeated the Cardinal in 2006 during the regular season and played it to a scoreless draw in 2007, but Stanford has had better fortune against the Broncos in the past two season, winning two lopsided contests in 2008 (5-0) and 2009 (6-2).
The two teams are as familiar with each other as any non-conference opponent can be, as only 15 miles separate the two campuses. The game, which sold out on Wednesday, is sure to be one of the highlights of the season for Bay Area college soccer fans.
Santa Clara put together its 27th winning season in 2009, going 13-6-1 in the regular season (4-0-1 in overtime situations) and scored 31 goals (1.55) while conceding only 18 (.900) prior to the postseason. In NCAA play, the Broncos remained undefeated in extra minutes, winning 1-0 in the first overtime over Michigan State and going to a shootout after tying 1-1 and playing two overtimes against Oklahoma State.
Redshirt senior Jordan Angeli (Lakewood, Colo.) leads the team in goals with seven (four of which are game-winners), while junior Anessa Patton (Fresno, Calif.) is on her heels with six. Junior Maxine Goynes (Modesto, Calif.) has come off the bench to add four goals. Senior Kiki Bosio (Mission Viejo, Calif.) has accumulated seven assists, while Goynes, Angeli, and freshman Lauren Matheson (Mission Viejo, Calif.) have all pitched in three. Angeli is the points leader with 17. In the net, sophomore goalie Bianca Henninger (Los Gatos, Calif.) has seen the majority of the action, starting 17 contests and earning six shutouts along with posting a 0.83 goals-against-average.
Angeli was named the West Coast Conference's Defensive Player of the Year for 2009. Several other Broncos were also honored by the conference, as freshman Allie Vernon (Homer Glen, Ill.) was named Co-Freshman of the Year with Portland's Kendall Johnson. Bosio joins Angeli on the All-WCC First Team while Vernon was joined by senior Katherine Reynolds (Medina, Wash.) on the All-WCC Second Team. Receiving honorable mention was senior Amanda Poach (Bowie, Md.), Goynes, Patton, and sophomore Jenny LaPonte (Castro Valley, Calif.). Both Vernon and Matheson were selected to the All-WCC Freshman Team.
LAST WEEK'S WRAP UP
In the first round, Santa Clara needed an overtime goal by Patton to get past Michigan State after dominating the majority of the match and outshooting the Spartans 29-3. On Sunday, the Broncos went to penalty kicks for only the second time in their NCAA Tournament history after tying 1-1 in regulation and overtime and remained a perfect 2-0 in shootouts. Angeli scored 13 minutes into the contest, heading in Bosio's flip throw from the left side. Sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Henninger (Los Gatos, Calif.) converted on Santa Clara's first try of the shootout and went on to save the Cowgirls' third and seventh attempts to put the Broncos in the third round.
Not much has changed since the two sides met on Oct. 1, save for the fact that that the Cardinal moved up to the No. 1 spot in the nation and have not conceded it and have continued to pile up goals on its opponents. Seventeen of their 22 games have been won by at least two goals or more and Stanford has already shattered a single-season record for goals scored (currently 74) heading into Friday's match. The Cardinal also is currently tied with last year's squad for most wins in a single season in school history (22) and have only been scored on 12 times, earning 13 shutouts.
Senior Kelley O'Hara, who just earned a call-up to the senior U.S. Women's National Team, is one of the leading candidates for the MAC Hermann Award and is second in the nation in points-per-game with 2.68. O'Hara is supported by a front line that is just as dangerous as she is, as junior Christen Press is sixth in the nation in points-per-game (2.32) and last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Lindsay Taylor has six goals and 10 assists. Combined, Press and O'Hara have scored 42 goals. In the goal, junior Kira Maker is ranked 15th in the nation with a 0.573 GAA and has 10 shutouts to her name.
BRONCOS GETTING NATIONAL AND CONFERENCE RECOGNITION
Santa Clara has had numerous players recognized nationally by several different media outlets this season, including two this week on CollegeSoccer360.com. The Broncos have had seven CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performers of the Week selections [Angeli (9/8, 9/14), Vernon (9/14), Bosio (9/22), Reynolds (9/22), Patton (11/17), Henninger (11/17)], one TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week selection [Henninger (9/14)], and two WCC Players of the Week [Angeli (9/14), Bosio (9/21)]. In the polls, Santa Clara checks in at No. 11 in the final regular season NSCAA National Rankings, No. 19 on SoccerTimes.com, No. 26 on CollegeSoccer360.com, and No. 13 on TopDrawerSoccer.com's Tournament Rankings.
Santa Clara returned 17 letterwinners and lost four, only one of which was a starter (goalkeeper Meagan McCray) ... the Bronco freshman class of 10 players was named TopDrawerSoccer.com's best in the nation ... Reynolds earned a spot on the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List this season.
FOLLOW SANTA CLARA ONLINE
Friday's match is sold out, so if you don't have a ticket the only way to follow the action is online. The game will be webcast for free (link will be posted on each team's schedule page as well as NCAA.com). Live stats will also be available on CBS College Sports' Gametracker.
The winner of the Santa Clara-Stanford match will play the winner of Boston College-Wisconsin in the NCAA Quarterfinals.