Bronco Women's Soccer Opens Conference Play Against Saint Mary's; Hosts Alumni Weekend

SANTA CLARA, Calif.  Opening West Coast Conference play, No. 14 Santa Clara University women's soccer (7-1-4) will play one game this weekend. The Broncos will host local rival Saint Mary's (9-2-1) at 1 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 9 at Buck Shaw Stadium. It's Alumni Weekend and the 2001 national championship team will be honored as part of the 10-year anniversary of their 1-0 victory over North Carolina in the College Cup Final in Dallas, Texas.

Santa Clara has dominated Saint Mary's over the years with a 16-1-2 all-time record. The Broncos are currently riding a 10-game unbeaten streak against the Gaels. In last year's meeting in Moraga, Santa Clara came away with a 2-0 victory. This will be the first time Saint Mary's has come to the Mission Campus since the teams tied 1-1 in 2008.


WEEKEND NOTES:

**Jerry Smith is in his 25th season as SCU head coach (376-117-42)
**Santa Clara is 210-35-21 all-time at Buck Shaw Stadium
**The Broncos are 16-1-2 all-time against Saint Mary's
**Santa Clara has had six games this season where a player has scored at least two goals
**Goalkeeper Bianca Henninger has been added to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List
**Hennigner has also been nominated for the 2011 Lowe's Senior Class Award
**SCU returns six players named to the WCC's 2010 all-conference teams
**Bianca Henninger and Marguerritte Aozasa have been named team co-captains 

SAINT MARY'S: The Gaels are led on offense by Jordan Marada and Christina Tognetti. Marada has a team-leading seven goals and is tied for the team lead with five assists, good for 19 points, also tops on the team. Tognetti has found the back of the net four times on the year and has added three assists to register 11 points. Six other Saint Mary's players have scored at least one goal and 11 have at least one point.

Kate Brenot has started all 12 games in net for the Gaels this season. She has recorded 52 saves, good for a .812 save percentage. Brenot has also recorded four shutouts on the season.

ALUMNI WEEKEND: It's Alumni Weekend for the women's soccer program. The Broncos will welcome back several alumni as well as many players and coaches from the 2001 national championship team.

On Saturday there will be an alumni game on Stanton Field at 2 p.m. To close the first day of events there will be a toast at The Hut for all of the alumni participating in the weekend at 11 p.m.

Before the Broncos' game against West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's on Sun., Oct. 9 at 1 p.m., the 2001 team will be recognized on the field. Erin Pearson, a member of the 2001 team, will be singing the National Anthem.

At halftime the Broncos will recognize Danielle Slaton and Aly Wagner by honoring their jerseys and hanging a banner in Buck Shaw. They will join Brandi Chastain as the only women's soccer players to have their jerseys honored.

The weekend will wrap-up with a post-game tailgate with the team at the Alumni Picnic Grounds.

THREE IN THE NET: On Oct. 2, in a 5-0 Santa Clara win over San Diego State, freshman Sofia Huerta registered the first Bronco hat trick since Leslie Osborne accomplished the feat against Pepperdine on Oct. 19, 2003 in a 5-0 Santa Clara win. Bree Horvath also had a hat trick that same year on Aug. 31 in a 9-1 Bronco victory in San Jose, Calif. against San Jose State.

Her three goals and one assist helped to get Huerta recognized as the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Oct. 3. The points were the first of Huerta's collegiate career.

Huerta's first goal came when Julie Johnston played a through ball from a few yards outside the top of the box to Huerta who took a dribble and blasted her shot into the back of the net.

Later Meleana Shim played a long ball that Huerta ran down and gained control of at the top-right of the box. She rocketed a shot that flew past the goalie for her second goal of the game.

Minutes later Parchinski played a ball to Huerta in almost the same spot in the top-right of the box and with a nearly identical shot she completed the hat trick.

PARITY IN WOMEN'S SOCCER: Santa Clara already has four ties on the season.  The last time Santa Clara tied as many as four games in a season was in 2003 when the team finished 14-4-6 and advanced to the national quarterfinals.

"What's happening in the women's soccer game in my 25 years is that there is a lot more parity," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith. "It's just a lot harder to win games. If you look at anybody's winning percentage, in the last few years as compared to the last 10 or 15 years, I guarantee you everyone's is down. Notre Dame's is down, North Carolina's is down – everybody's is down. It's harder to win games for even a team as good as Stanford, they already have a tie vs. Maryland."

SANTA CLARA HEAD COACH JERRY SMITH: SCU Head Coach Jerry Smith enters his 25th season at the helm of the Santa Clara women's soccer program in 2011. Although he is most known for the development of his players and teams, Smith also produces success and is easily the winningest women's soccer coach in Santa Clara history, having compiled a record of 376-117-42 (.703). 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.

SANTA CLARA WOMEN'S SOCCER BY THE NUMBERS:
**143 All-WCC Selections
**40 All-Americans
**24 College Cup All-Tournament Team Selections
**22 NCAA Tournament Appearances
**10 College Cup Appearances
**9 WCC Championships
**8 WCC Players of the Year
**8 WCC Freshmen of the Year
**7 WCC Defenders of the Year
**3 Honda Award Winners
**2 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Winners
**2 College Cup Defensive MVPs
**1 College Cup Offensive MVP
**1 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year
**1 National Championship 

FRESHMAN REPEAT: For the second year in a row the Broncos will have the defending WCC Freshman of the Year on their team. Julie Johnston won the award in 2010, starting 16 games and totaling 1,519 minutes. She led the team with five assists and added two goals to total nine points. Allie Vernon was named co-Freshman of the Year in 2009 as she helped the Broncos advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

CHASTAIN HONORED: Santa Clara honored Bronco great, World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Brandi Chastain at halftime of its game against No. 1 Stanford on Sept. 18. Chastain had her No. 21 jersey retired during a halftime ceremony that featured Santa Clara athletic director Dan Coonan.

"Brandi is not only a world-class athlete, but an international superstar, as well as a tireless advocate for women and young girls," said Coonan. "Through it all, she has never forgotten or neglected her role within the Santa Clara family, which she represents so flawlessly in all she does. She epitomizes what it means to be a Bronco. We are thrilled to make her our first retired jersey honoree for women's soccer"

"What a great tribute for Brandi. I am glad we had a big crowd of students to see her honored Sunday night," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith, also married to Chastain. "She is not only one of the greatest women's soccer players at Santa Clara and one of the greatest Santa Clara athletes, she is also one of the greatest women's soccer players to play not only in this country but also around the world. I was really happy we honored her. She has been honored on so many levels and it's nice to have her jersey be the one that was officially retired first as part of the Bronco women's soccer program."

Chastain played for Santa Clara in 1989 and 1990 and both years led the Broncos the NCAA College Cup Final Four. In her two years in a Bronco uniform she scored 33 goals and had six assists for a total of 72 points. As an All-American in 1990 her 22 goals and 50 points are the third and fourth most in a season for a Santa Clara player, respectively.

She was also part of the Bay Area's first women's professional team to win a championship when she was with the San Jose CyberRays in 2001. She won two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup titles, the most memorable coming when she scored the deciding penalty shot in 1999 to beat China in the championship game of the first Women's World Cup.

HENNINGER UP FOR MAJOR AWARDS: Preparing for what will be a stellar season, senior goalkeeper Bianca Henninger has been named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List as well as nominated for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.

Henninger has a 3.4 GPA as an accounting major and was named to the 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team. Henninger has also been selected to the WCC All-Academic Team twice and the WCC Commissioner's List three times. She has also worked extensively with BAWSI whose goal is to get elementary school girls outside and moving. She was part of the BAWSI Sportspalooza in Spring 2011.

On the field Henninger was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2010 and was a 2010 All-America selection. In addition to being All-WCC in 2010 she was named to the preseason All-WCC team in 2011. In 2010 she collected eight shutouts with a 0.63 GAA and led the WCC with 90 saves and a .865 save percentage.

SISTER SISTER: The 2011 Broncos feature a set of sisters in sophomore midfielder Ellie Rice and freshman forward Brooke Rice. The Rice sisters grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and both played club soccer for the Utah Avalanche. They have a third sister, Nicole, who currently plays soccer at the University of Wyoming.

"It's like having your best friend around all the time," said Brooke on what it's like to be on the same team as her sister. "There is someone on the field who can criticize you and knows your game so well that they can help you all the time."

NATIONALLY RANKED:  Santa Clara enters the week ranked 14th in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

2011 NSCAA TOP 25 (As of Oct. 4, 2011)
1. Stanford*
2. Oklahoma State
3. UCLA
4. Duke
5. Wake Forest
6. Memphis
7. Boston College
8. Pepperdine*
9. Marquette
10. North Carolina
11. Florida
12. Wisconsin-Milwaukee
13. Florida State
14. Santa Clara
15. Dayton
16. Virginia
17. Maryland
18. Penn State
19. Oregon State*
20. Tennessee
21. Boston University
22. Auburn
23. Long Beach State
24. Central Florida
25. LSU
*Santa Clara opponents in 2011 

2011 WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Portland - 61 (6)
2. Santa Clara - 53 (2)
2. BYU - 53 (1)
4. San Diego - 47
5. LMU - 33
6. Pepperdine - 31
7. Saint Mary's - 20
8. Gonzaga - 13
8. San Francisco - 13
(First place votes - rankings by NSCAA) 

2011 WCC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE
Cloee Colohan, Portland
Danielle Foxhoven, Portland
Natalie Garcia, San Diego
Bianca Henninger, Santa Clara
Kendall Johnson, Portland
Julie Johnston, Santa Clara
Olivia Klei, Santa Clara
Jordan Marada, Saint Mary's
Tawni Martino, LMU
Stephanie Ochs, San Diego
Michelle Pao, Pepperdine
Carlee Payne, BYU 

BRONCOS WELCOME TOP FIVE RECRUITING CLASS: The Santa Clara women's soccer recruiting class of 2015 was recognized as the fourth-best nationally, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. By welcoming in nine freshmen the returning players and coaches know that it will take a total team effort to make the new players feel at home. "We're excited about the challenge of coming together as a new team," said Smith. "That's what preseason is about: working together and coming together. We know that if we put in the work and find a way to come together, we will enjoy a wonderful payoff at the end of the season." The class features both attacking players who will help with the loss of three starting forwards and players who can excel at several different positions.

BRONCOS ADVANCE INTO NCAA'S SECOND ROUND: After beating defending Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State 1-0 and defending WAC champion San Jose State 2-1 to open the 2010 the Bronco women, who finished the 2010 season ranked No. 19, were awarded for their fantastic season by once again playing in the NCAA College Cup tournament. They beat Long Beach State by a score of 1-0 in the first round but fell to Stanford for the second straight year. Stanford went on to the championship game but ended up losing for the second consecutive year.