Team hopes their offense will carry them far in playoffs
The Santa Clara
November 9, 2017
In The Division I Santa Clara Women’s Soccer team will continue on into the NCAA tournament after playing Brigham Young University last Wednesday.
The team finished the game with a 4-3 score. They currently hold an overall record of 13-6-1 and conference record of 8-1-0. They will advance to play the University of California, Berkeley this Saturday.
“What worked well for us was what worked well for us all year, and that’s scoring goals,” Head Coach Jerry Smith said. “We had about a 57-game streak where we didn’t give up more than two goals in a game, and we’ve given up three or more several times this year. We certainly weren’t happy about giving up three goals against BYU, but we were ecstatic that we scored four.”
They have earned the impressive second spot in the conference and finished their regular season on a sevengame winning streak. This win took place on their Senior Day.
As long as Pepperdine had a loss or a tie in their game, the Santa Clara team just needed a win to advance in the NCAAs. Though they had a win, Pepperdine did as well and took the Santa Clara team’s spot. Their 8-0-1 record trumped Santa Clara’s 8-1-0 record by their tie and our loss.
However, the team will still move on to the NCAAs.
“Yesterday, we learned from the NCAA that we were selected to the NCAA tournament. They selected us as one of the at-large teams and now we look forward to the NCAA tournament. We play Cal on Saturday at 1:30 up at their place, and that’s a very tough opening game, but most of the games in the NCAA tournament are really tough games,” Coach Smith said.
With the University of California, Berkeley as their first tournament opponent, the Santa Clara team hopes to make a deep run in the NCAAs. This will be the 27th time the group has been in the NCAAs in their past 29 years as a team.
Moreover, in 15 of those 27 runs, the Santa Clara team has made it into the Elite Eight or further.
The team has not cemented a national title in the NCAA conference since 2001, when they defeated the University of North Carolina. Going into their game at Cal, the team will operate differently.
“One of our top performers this year, Julie Doyle, two and a half games ago against USF suffered a season-ending injury,” Coach Smith said. “When you lose your second most productive offensive player, you’re forced to change some things. We haven’t made our final decisions, but we’ve certainly been working through it and I’m sure we’ll look different than the first time we played Cal.”
The team’s traditions of excellence as well as the surprises that rework the team create the need for intense dedication from the coaching staff and the players.
“Our strength of schedule was ranked in the top ten in the country this year again. In Division I Women’s Soccer, there are 340 teams, so any time you’re in the top ten on anything, you’re really good,” Coach Smith said.
The team is thankful for Santa Clara’s support, especially as a Division I sport.
“We try to support the other teams here and go to as many university events as we can so we can show our appreciation and how thankful we are that we are at a place that supports women’s soccer as well as Santa Clara does,” Coach Smith said.
The Santa Clara Women’s Soccer team hopes to advance to the Elite Eight or further in the NCAAs, starting this Saturday against the University of California, Berkeley.
Contact Addy Camisa at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.