By Lisa Porter, Joe Doss-Antoun and Chris Furnari
This was the most successful season in the team’s history, as they reached the NCAA Final Four after compiling a 27-5 record. After winning the West Coast Conference, the Broncos defeated Stanford for the first time in school history, but ultimately fell to top-ranked Nebraska in the tournament. Head Coach Jon Wallace earned WCC Coach of the Year honors, as well as coach of the year from several different publications.
Men’s Water Polo
The men’s water polo team ended their 16-16 season with a strong showing at the Western Water Polo Association Championships, defeating UC Santa Cruz in the first round. The team finished the season ranked 20th in the nation. Freshman Jack Wall cemented his place as a one of the top newcomers by scoring a goal with mere seconds left on the clock to defeat Pacific. The team fell to BYU-Hawaii in their last match.
Women’s Cross Country
The women’s team ended their season with an 18th place finish in the NCAA West Regional Championships. The Broncos also finished third in the WCC behind sophomore Shannon Bell, who was named to the All-WCC team.
Men’s Cross Country
The men finished their season at the NCAA West Regional Championships in the 20th spot out of 23 teams. At the WCC Championships, senior John Paul Thyken and freshman Michael Hannon finished 13th and 15th respectively. Both men were awarded honorable mentions for their performance.
The Broncos ended their season with a record of 13-6-3. Unfortunately, the season ended early in the eyes of many Bronco players as they suffered a loss to Cal in the second round of the NCAA College Cup. Mehdi Ballouchy, who was selected second overall in the MLS draft, led the Bronco attack, garnering WCC Player of the Year as well as First Team All-American honors. Junior Keith DeVey, the team’s leading scorer with six goals and 16 points, earned All-WCC Second Team honors. Kevin Sweeney was an honorable mention.
The women continued their perennial success this year, finishing with an overall record of 17-5-2. The women climbed as high as fifth in the national poll, even though they finished second in the WCC. They also reached the NCAA quarterfinals for the 11th time in school history. Next fall, the Broncos add one of the nation’s top 10 recruiting classes and will work towards a national championship.
The men’s team finished 13-16 overall with a 5-9 conference record, good enough for sixth in the WCC. Despite their struggles, the team showed promise at the end of the season winning four of their last five regular season games. The Broncos also beat Portland in the first round of the WCC tournament, but failed to advance further. Travis Niesen was an All-WCC First Team selection and sophomore Brody Angley led the WCC in steals.
This year, the team finished 19-12 overall and recorded a nine-game conference winning streak, which gave the Broncos a share of the WCC regular season championship. The team earned a spot in the Women’s NIT, but lost in the first round to Oregon State. Team leader Michelle Cozad, who averaged over 18 points per game, was named the WCC Player of the Year. Cozad led the conference in scoring and was second in rebounds and steals. Head Coach Michelle Bento-Jackson was named WCC Coach of the Year.
Women’s Water Polo
The Broncos improved on their past success with an impressive season. On April 9, the Broncos defeated perennial powerhouse UC San Diego for the first time in school history. The win gave the team a lot of confidence, but also showed the rest of the conference that the Broncos were a team on the rise. Senior Lindsey Bacolini led the team in scoring and was named to the All-Conference team. The Broncos were ranked 16th in the nation to end the year, the highest ranking in their history.
Track and Field
The co-ed team competed in nine invitationals and added track athletes in six new events. Throughout the season, the team achieved new personal and school records. On March 25, at the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento, the women’s distance medley relay set a Bronco record and beat the second place team by 15 seconds. The goal for next year’s team is to be able to compete in more than just the long distance events.
Men’s tennis capped off a long season with a disappointing loss to San Francisco in the conference tournament. Although the Broncos only suffered three losses in league play, they finished the season with a subpar 14-15 overall record. Freshman Brian Brogan finished the season with a 13-11 overall individual record, while fellow freshman Tommy Hicks finished 18-9.
The women finished sixth in the WCC with a 7-13 overall team record. Only junior Casey Knutson was able to notch an individual winning record, posting an 11-9 mark. Knutson and sophomore Myra Davoudi earned WCC honorable mention awards for their efforts. The women will return next season with the same roster and try to avoid the injuries that caused this season’s subpar record.
The Broncos finished the 2006 season with an overall record of 28-26. In the WCC, the Broncos finished 9-12, good enough for sixth place. Senior Eric Newton led the WCC with 14 home runs while senior Daniel Nava batted a blistering .395, top on the team. Newton also drove in 48 runs in his final season in a Bronco uniform. The young pitching staff will develop into a strength next year, as each pitcher who saw significant playing time will return. The Broncos expect big things from their recruiting class as well.
The Broncos finished 24-34 overall record and 11-9 in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. Jessica Clee and Jenny Brown were voted to the All-PCSC First Team. Clee led the team with a .393 average and Brown batted .325. In addition, senior Shannon Linerud and sophomore Angela Kabanuck received All-PCSC Second Team accolades. The Broncos closed the season with four straight wins over conference rival Saint Mary’s. The ladies will take this momentum into the next season as they return many key players, including sophomore pitcher Jackie Morales.
The Broncos experienced the most successful season in Santa Clara men’s golf history. The Broncos qualified for the NCAA West Regional, a tremendous accomplishment. Even though they finished 21st of 27 teams, the accomplishment still stands. Outstanding individual efforts were displayed all year from Tim Lynch and Michael Nicoletti. Nicoletti had the lowest average score per round out of any Bronco this season, and his third place finish at the conference tournament earned him a First-Team All-WCC selection. Head Coach Rob Miller was also named Coach of the Year just 10 months after taking over the position. Tim Lynch, John Colyar and Eric Lillibridge also earned All-WCC honorable mention awards.
The Broncos ended a successful season by finishing third in the WCC Tournament, the second consecutive year that they have done so. At major invites, the Broncos finished in the top five on five separate occasions. Outstanding play was exhibited by Megan Stoddart, who tied for seventh at the conference tournament. Stoddart also earned All-WCC honors, as she was selected to the All-WCC First Team. Candice Palmer and Samantha Trask earned All-WCC honorable mention awards for the Broncos.
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