Women’s soccer team prepares for big game by sticking to routine
THE SANTA CLARA
November 12, 2015
Santa Clara women’s soccer (13-5-2) made the NCAA tournament for the twenty-fifth time in program history this week and is slated for a first-round matchup against Long Beach State University (12-6-3) this Saturday.
The Broncos were given the fourth seed in the tournament after finishing the season ranked 12th in the NCAA coaches poll.
Santa Clara also finished 24th in the Rating Percentage Index rankings after beating three teams in the RPI top 50 (No. 5 Stanford, No. 41 Loyola Marymount University and No. 50 Oklahoma).
“The biggest mistake coaches make going into the NCAA tournament is that they say, ‘well now that we are in the tournament we have to do something different’,” said Women’s Soccer Coach Jerry Smith. “We have really good habits and really good routines. We’ll just have a normal week. That normal approach has always helped us in the NCAA tournament.”
Should the Broncos beat California State University, Long Beach, they will face the winner of University of Arizona (12-5-2) and University of Northern Colorado (13-7-2) the following weekend (Nov. 20-22, time TBA).
Santa Clara lost to Arizona earlier this year 2-1 in the team’s second game of the season.
Other significant teams in Santa Clara’s bracket are No. 1 seed Stanford (16-2-1), No. 2 seed University of Florida (17-3-1) and Brigham Young University (15-2-2). The Broncos already beat Stanford 2-1 and tied BYU 0-0 earlier this year.
Santa Clara, however, will try to score on a talented LBSU defense that has held opponents to just 0.67 goals per game. The Broncos, on the other hand, also boast one of the better defenses in the nation, ranking 17th in the NCAA in Goals Allowed.
“The most important thing for the NCAA tournament is to just stick to your routine,” Coach Smith said. “We ask our players in preseason to develop a routine; a routine that, when we get to the tournament, they will continue to do.”
The Broncos host CSU Long Beach at Stevens Stadium this Saturday, Nov. 14. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
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