#9 Santa Clara Women's Soccer 2014 Preview

Santa Clara Broncos

Overall Rank: #9
#1 West Coast
#9 Santa Clara Women's Soccer 2014 Preview
Santa Clara Team Page


Santa Clara battled through a very difficult early portion of the 2013 schedule to make it all the way to the Sweet 16 before falling to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The Broncos took some big time hits to graduation and the NWSL Draft. However, there is still plenty of firepower returning in the attack for head coach Jerry Smith in 2014. This should be another very dangerous Bronco side by the time the NCAA Tournament rolls around.

2013 Record: 16-4-2, 8-1-0
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jerry Smith

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Sofia Huerta, Senior, F, 16
Assists: Sofia Huerta, Senior, F, 8
Shots: Sofia Huerta, Senior, F, 93
Saves: Andi Tostanoski, Junior, GK, 98

Other Key Returnees: F Brittany Ambrose, F Alyssa Kleiner, M Jordan Jesolva, M Dani Weatherholt, M Julie Vass

Key Losses: F Morgan Marlborough, F Sarah Jackson, M Julie Johnston, M Aly Birgel, D Ellie Rice, D Allie Vernon

Senior forward Sofia Huerta is going to set the tone for the attack this season. Huerta scored 16 goals in 2013 and, even if opposing teams devote more attention to her, she will be tough to stop. In addition, there should be plenty of depth in the offensive attack with players like midfielder Jordan Jesolva and forwards Brittany Ambrose and Alyssa Kleiner. The goalkeeping position should be solid once again as junior Andi Tostanoski returns this season.

Losing offensive talent like Morgan Marlborough and Julie Johnston is never easy to replace heading into a new season. But the way Santa Clara gets after you attack wise, they should still be able to score plenty of goals this season. The key question that needs to be answered is defensively as the Broncos allowed 1.101 goals per match in 2013. That number has to be dropped to around 0.75 or less for Santa Clara to make a legitimate run to the Women’s College Cup.

Final Projection:
The schedule for the Broncos as usual is very tough to start the 2014 season. Notre Dame visits Buck Shaw Stadium on September 5th. This match with the Fighting Irish will be a great litmus test for Santa Clara to see where they stand nationally. A home and home with Cal will be a great chance to get resume building wins against Pac-12 competition. On September 19th, the Broncos will go to Palo Alto to take on Stanford. This could be the most intriguing non-conference of the year for Santa Clara. The conference schedule is highlighted by a road trip to Provo to play BYU and a visit from Portland on November 2nd. Look for the Broncos to win the West Coast Conference and earn a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 2.82 (2nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.101 (114, 3)
Shutout Percentage: 0.409 (70, 3)
Save Percentage:  0.803 (101, 2)

Madness 2015 NWSL Draft Rankings:
#14 Sofia Huerta

Madness 2014 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#56 Megan Keeth


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