August 12, 2013

Women's Soccer Tabbed to Win WCC; Two Players Honored on Preseason All-WCC Team

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – With high hopes for the 2013 season, Santa Clara women's soccer was picked to win the always-competitive West Coast Conference by the leagues coaches on Tuesday. The No. 16 Broncos picked up nine of 10 first place votes with the other vote going to Portland. Julie Johnston and Sofia Huerta were also named to the preseason All-WCC Team.

"We are vey happy to be picked No. 1 in our conference," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Of course those are predictions, but we hope to live up to those predictions and expectations. We have high expectations for the team every year and there won't be anything different this year. We have a very tough conference and some difficult road games this year. To be picked first in a very tough conference, we feel honored by that, but we have a lot of work to do to live up to expectations and that really is where our focus is right now. Conference play is so far away and we have a lot to do between now and then. We hope that our non-conference schedule will help prepare us well for our conference schedule and I think it will. We certainly open up with a tough weekend in the Virginia tournament playing Carolina and Virginia and that will prepare us well." 

The Broncos will play an exhibition game at Buck Shaw vs. Sacramento State on Fri., Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. before traveling to Virginia to play in the Klockner Classic on Aug. 23 and 25. Santa Clara will open the season vs. North Carolina, the defending national champions, and play host Virginia two days later. The home-opener comes on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. vs. Long Beach State who the Broncos bested in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

"We are also very proud of Julie Johnston and Sophia Huerta being picked for the All-Conference team," added Smith. "They are two very deserving candidates, who hopefully will live up to expectations and hopefully we will have some other players who will have a chance to be All-Conference for us as well." 

Despite missing the first seven games of the year while winning the U-20 World Cup as captain of the U.S. squad in 2012, Johnston led the team in goals with eight and points with 21 thanks to adding five assists. She added three game-winners, including the overtime-winner in a 1-0 victory over CSU Northridge at Buck Shaw on Sept. 21.

Huerta missed the team's first five games while playing for Mexico on the U-20 World Cup but still led the Broncos in assists with six. She also placed second on the team with six goals and 18 points. Huerta added two game-winners and was named First-Team All-WCC and All-West Region Second-Team. 

With the addition of Morgan Marlborough, who will play her senior season at Santa Clara after transferring from Nebraska in 2011 and sitting out 2012 due to NCAA transfer rules, the Broncos should have a fierce goal-scoring trio to go with Johnston and Huerta. Marlborough was a 2010 All-American and has collected many awards. She has twice scored 20+ goals (21 in 2009, 20 in 2011) and just missed as a sophomore (19). Her scoring prowess has Smith excited.

2013 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL

Team (First Place Votes)

Points

1.  Santa Clara (9)

81

2.  Portland (1)

68

3.  BYU

67

4.  Pepperdine

57

5.  San Diego

51

6.  Loyola Marymount

38

7.  San Francisco

29

8.  Saint Mary's

26

9.  Gonzaga

22

10. Pacific

10

 

2013 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM

Player

School

Yr.

Pos.

Cloee Colohan

BYU

Sr.

M

Michelle Cruz

Portland

Sr.

M/D

Amanda Frisbie

Portland

Sr.

F

Sofia Huerta

Santa Clara

Jr.

F

Julie Johnston

Santa Clara

Sr.

M

Rachel Manning

BYU

Sr.

M

Michele Murphy

BYU

So.

F/M

Meghan O'Rourke

San Diego

Jr.

D

Erica Owens

BYU

Sr.

GK

Michelle Pao

Pepperdine

Sr.

D/M

Lynn Williams

Pepperdine

Jr.

F