No. 11 Broncos Take On Gonzaga, Portland At Home This Weekend

(Don Jedlovec Photo)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 11 Santa Clara women's soccer team (10-3-2 overall, 3-0-0 WCC) returns home to Buck Shaw Stadium this weekend, facing Gonzaga (7-8-1 overall, 2-1-0 WCC) Friday night at 7 p.m. and No. 2 Portland (15-1-0 overall, 3-0-0 WCC) Sunday at noon on a nationally-televised game (ESPNU). 

Currently, Santa Clara and Portland are tied for the lead in the WCC standings.  The Pilots (7GF, 0 GA) are on top by virtue of a better overall record and a plus-2 goal differential over the Broncos (5 GF, 0 GA).  Gonzaga sits in a tie for third with San Diego after opening league play with a loss to the Pilots, but rebounding to defeat both Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount last weekend.

Santa Clara is tops in the conference in the overall goals against category, giving up just nine goals in 15 games (.600) as well as in goals-against-average (0.58, nine goals in 1390:00 minutes).  Junior goalie Bianca Henninger, who has been in net all season for SCU, leads all WCC goaltenders in shutouts (7 total, 0.47) and save percentage (.870).

In conference play only, the Broncos are first in shots taken (45) and tied for first in goals against, goals-against-average, and shutouts.  Individually, sophomore Lauren Matheson's 10 shots lead the conference (3.33 per game).  Senior Anessa Patton, who leads the team in overall goals (5) is tied for the conference scoring-lead with two goals and is tops in game-winning-goals (2).  Henninger is tied in goals-against and save percentage (1.000) and leads the shutout category with three.

Santa Clara heads into Friday's game against the Bulldogs with a winning 14-1-2 all-time record, including a 6-1 walloping of the Zags in Spokane, Wash. last season.  That large victory erased a bit of frustration for the Broncos who had played to a scoreless tie in 2008 and a 1-0 loss in 2007 with the Bulldogs.  Utah is the only non-conference opponent Gonzaga and Santa Clara have this season and both teams beat the Utes by one goal.  The Bulldogs two conference victories at home last weekend were both by a goal; 1-0 in overtime over Pepperdine and a 2-1 win over LMU. 

Gonzaga is led offensively by Sarah Rhodes' five goals. Cassie Geerdts and Sheridan Jones lead the team in assists with four each.  Lauren Ames will be the starting goalie for the Zags. Ames has a 6-8-1 record and has conceded 29 goals on 98 shots on goal for a 1.89 GAA and a .704 save percentage.

Sunday's Broncos-Pilots matchup will be the second nationally-televised game for Portland on the weekend. The Pilots will play San Diego on the road at 8 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel.  Should Portland and Santa Clara both win on Friday, Sunday's contest will be a pivotal match for first place in the WCC with two games remaining on the slate. 

The Pilots have been steamrolling through their schedule, only stumbling once to No. 1 Stanford on the road on Sept. 25.  Last weekend Portland defeated LMU, 2-0, and Pepperdine, 1-0, at home.  Sunday's contest will be the 30th meeting between the two teams, with Santa Clara holding a slight 14-13-2 edge.  In recent history, the Pilots have won the last three matchups dating back to 2007.  Going all the way back to the 2000 season, Portland has had the 6-5 edge over the Broncos, but SCU won 4 out of 5 contests between 2003 and 2006.

Micaela Capelle leads the Pilots offensively with eight goals and seven others have scored more than once.  A number of Pilots also have multiple assists, with Eli Reed's five topping the chart.  Freshman goalie Erin Dees has started a majority of the games and boasts a 0.49 goals-against-average paired with a .750 save percentage.

Following this weekend's games, Santa Clara will complete its home schedule with a non-conference matchup against soon-to-be-WCC-member BYU on Thurs. Nov. 28 and a conference game against LMU on Sun. Oct. 31.  The Broncos will complete the regular season at Pepperdine on Sat. Nov. 6.

GAME SCHEDULE:

Friday
7 p.m. PT – vs. Gonzaga
Sunday

12 p.m. PT — vs. No. 2 Portland

LIVE COVERAGE: Live stats will be available for both games this weekend and can be found on the Santa Clara women's soccer schedule webpage or by clicking here.  In addition, Friday's game against the Bulldogs will be webcasted.  ESPNU is carried by DirecTV (Ch. 208), Dish Network (Ch. 141), Verizon FiOS (Ch. 73 SD, Ch. 573 HD), AT&T U-Verse (Ch. 605 SD, Ch. 1605 HD) and on select cable systems.  Check your local cable listings for channels.  For the match against the Pilots on ESPNU, the west bleachers (seatbacks) will be closed due to the setup of the TV cameras.  Fans who are accustomed to sitting on that side of the stadium should plan accordingly.

TICKETS:  Tickets for either match are available at http://www.santaclarabroncos.com/tickets or by calling 408-554-4660 or visiting the ticket window at the Leavey Center, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

NOTES:
**The Broncos are 14-1-2 all-time vs. Gonzaga and 14-13-2 all-time vs. Portland
**Jerry Smith is in his 24th season as SCU head coach (366-112-38)
**Goalkeeper Bianca Henninger (7 shutouts, 0.58 GAA) is a candidate for the 2010 MAC Hermann Trophy
**The Broncos have played or are scheduled to play seven teams currently ranked in the NSCAA Top 25
**SCU returned six players named to the WCC's 2009 all-conference teams
**Allie Vernon, Kendra Perry, Lindsey Johnson and Bianca Henninger have been named team co-captains
**Henninger and Vernon were named to the 2010 WCC Preseason All-Conference team
**Bronco greats Brandi Chastain and Aly Wagner were added to the coaching staff for 2010

PATTON LEADS THE WAY:  Senior Anessa Patton is leading the team in both goals (5) and game-winning goals (3).  Patton was also selected as the WCC Player of the Week after the first weekend of league play for picking up the game-winner in a 1-0 win over San Diego.

DOIN' THE MATH:  Sophomore Lauren Matheson has figured in a third of Santa Clara's 18 goals, scoring three and thrice providing an assist.  This past weekend, Matheson notched both a goal and an assist.

FANTASTIC FRESHMEN:  One third of Santa Clara's goals this season have been a direct result of the contribution from this year's rookies.  Julie Johnston has one goal and three assists, while Sarah Jackson scored the game-tying goal against San Jose State and assisted on the game-winner against Oregon.  Five freshmen have started games this season and two others have seen significant time on the field.

MILLER TIME:  Junior Bridgett Miller scored her first career goal as a Bronco on Sunday, Sept. 19, lifting Santa Clara to a 1-0 win over Utah.

AOZASA A TWO-WAY PLAYER:   Junior Margueritte Aozasa, who has been stellar in the back for Santa Clara, asserted herself as a two-way player by scoring both of the Broncos' goals against Oregon on corner kicks.

HENNINGER ADDED TO MAC HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST: Santa Clara University junior goalkeeper Bianca Henninger has been named to the 2010 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Women's Hermann Trophy Watch List, as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Henninger is one of just five goalkeepers among the 45 players selected for the award's preseason watch list. The honor is considered the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer. The recipients are selected by NCAA Division I coaches who are members of the NSCAA.

VERNON AND LAPONTE OUT FOR SEASON
2010 WCC Preseason All-Conference selection Allie Vernon, has redshirted this season in order to have more time to properly recover from an injury.  Also, junior Jenny LaPonte, who started in seven of her eight matches this season, will miss the rest of the year after a colliding with a Duck defender early in the match against Oregon on Sept. 24.

INSIDE THE TOP 10: Santa Clara entered the 2010 season ranked ninth in the nation according to the preseason poll released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).  This week the Broncos remained just out of the top-10, but moved up one spot to No. 11 after remaining undefeated and un-scored on in three league games.

2010 NSCAA TOP 10 (OCT. 12, 2010)
1. Stanford*
2. Portland*
3. North Carolina
4. Notre Dame*
5. Oklahoma State
6. Maryland
7. Texas A&M
8. Virginia
9. Boston College
10. Florida State
*Santa Clara opponents in 2010

30th ANNIVERSARY SEASON CELEBRATION
The celebration of the 30th anniversary of varsity women's soccer at Santa Clara was held the weekend of Oct. 8-10 with alumni activities held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
On Friday evening, current players, coaches, and alumni gathered for a celebratory dinner. Saturday afternoon's festivities included alumni mini-games and a kids' clinic on Stanton Field.  Saturday night, the Broncos again gathered for a dinner and a toast.  On Sunday, the alumni were recognized on the field at halftime of the game against San Diego.

SCU HEAD COACH JERRY SMITH: SCU Head Coach Jerry Smith enters his 24th season at the helm of the Santa Clara women's soccer program in 2010. Although he is most known for the development of his players and teams, Smith also produces success and is the winningest women's soccer coach in Santa Clara history, having compiled a record of 366-112-38 (.746) – in fact Smith ranks among the top-5 winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history. Since taking over the head coaching duties at Santa Clara in the spring of 1987, Smith has built the Bronco soccer program into a national power. For 19 consecutive seasons, his Broncos reached the NCAA Tournament prior to 2008 and have consistently ranked among the top 10 teams in the country. He has taken the Broncos to 10 College Cup Final Fours and a national championship in 2001. In addition, his Bronco teams have won nine West Coast Conference titles.

2010 WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. #4 Portland - 49 (7)
2. #8 Santa Clara - 41.5 (1)
3. #14 San Diego - 38.5
4. Pepperdine – 27
5. Loyola Marymount – 26
6. Saint Mary's – 19
7. Gonzaga – 12
8. San Francisco - 11
(First place votes - rankings by NSCAA)

2010 WCC STANDINGS (CURRENT)
1. #2 Portland (3-0-0; 15-1-0)
2. #11 Santa Clara (3-0-0; 10-3-2)
3. Gonzaga (2-1-0; 7-8-1)
4. San Diego (2-1-0; 9-5-2)
5. Saint Mary's (1-2-0; 7-5-3)
6. Loyola Marymount (0-2-1; 8-5-1)
7. Pepperdine (0-2-1; 7-5-4)
8. San Francisco (0-3-0; 4-12-0)

2010 WCC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE
Kendra Chandhoke, Portland
Danielle Foxhoven, Portland
Julie Gallaudet, Loyola Marymount
Bianca Henninger, Santa Clara
Sheridan Jones, Gonzaga
Stephanie Ochs, San Diego
Sophie Schmidt, Portland
Michelle Spacciapolli, Pepperdine
Allie Vernon, Santa Clara
Keelin Winters, Portland
Jackie Zinke, San Diego

BRONCOS ADVANCE TO 2009 NCAA THIRD ROUND: After an early-season 2-0 win vs. No. 5 Notre Dame, the Bronco women, who finished the 2009 season ranked No. 10, were awarded for their fantastic play by once again playing in the NCAA College Cup tournament. They beat Michigan State and Oklahoma State at home in the first two rounds. Both games ended in penalty kicks. They ended their season with a battle at No. 1 Stanford, losing 1-0 to the eventual national runner-ups.

FIVE BRONCOS TAKEN IN 2010 WPS DRAFT: Five SCU women's soccer players (four from the Broncos' 2009 roster) were selected in the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer league (WPS) Draft. Jordan Angeli (Boston Breakers – 16th overall), Kiki Bosio (Los Angeles Sol – 22nd overall), Amanda Poach (St. Louis Athletica – 28th overall), Katherine Reynolds (Boston Breakers - #34 overall) and Meagan Snell (Sky Blue FC – 44th overall).  Poach was released prior to the beginning of the WPS season, allowing her to return to the Broncos for a sixth year of eligibility.  Bosio was picked up by FC Gold Pride when the Sol folded.  Snell was released midseason by Sky Blue when the club added players from the folded St. Louis Athletica.  Reynolds was released by the Breakers but picked up by the Philadelphia Independence.