After a weather delay that left the game an hour and a half late, Santa Clara women’s soccer finally played. The scoring started in the 28th minute when Julie Doyle danced past a defender inside the box. Her shot deflected to D’Aquila, who finished off the opportunity. Doyle then sent a cross to the far post, where Smith beat a defender one-on-one and volleyed the ball out of the air for a score.
Santa Clara Women’s Soccer Jerry Smith
In the early 1980s, the Santa Clara Women’s Soccer program had few resources, including a field with no turf, a team room without air conditioning, and no internet. For its first 18 years, Smith had to write game plans and prepare practices for the team from a trailer converted into his office. Nevertheless, the team was able to win seven games, including a championship in 1982. Smith also coached the Foothill College women’s soccer team from 1982 to 1986.
Smith’s track record is impressive. His 410-126-52 record ranks among the top five in NCAA Division I history. He is the winningest women’s soccer coach in Santa Clara University’s history, and his success has set a standard for the sport that few can match. In fact, Smith is considered to be one of the top five women’s soccer coaches in the country. But how did Smith get to where he is today?
Coach Smith took over the reins at Santa Clara in 1987. Since then, the Broncos have gone on to win their first NCAA championship, defeating the 17-time champion North Carolina 1-0 in 2001. Smith has guided his team to 10 West Coast Conference titles and 24 NCAA tournament appearances. In addition to winning the league championship, Smith was named the third women’s soccer coach in NCAA history.
Aly Wagner, Santa Clara women’ s soccer star, has a passion for the game. Her balls don’t just go straight, they bend, and she chooses the pace and surface. Born and raised in San Jose, Wagner began playing soccer at age five under the tutelage of her mother, Vicky. She has since followed in her older siblings’ footsteps, having played soccer at Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.
The former San Jose-based midfielder has won two national player-of-the-year awards and is a two-time first-team All-American. She was named the 2001 Honda Award as the top female soccer player in the country. The 2001 WCC Freshman of the Year, Wagner led Santa Clara to its first NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, scoring the game-winning goal against perennial powerhouse North Carolina. She has a 3.44 GPA in the combined sciences, and was named to the Verizon Academic All-District team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
She is a member of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. The film, “Bend It Like Beckham,” was based on the 2001 NCAA Championship win by the Broncos. In 2021, the No. 11 Santa Clara women’s soccer team won the Division 1 title, despite being under severe pandemic restrictions in the region. They have been ranked number one nationally, and have experienced some of the most extreme weather conditions, including the California fires.
Slaton is a former professional soccer player who has turned her passion for the sport into a career as an analyst. She is currently a San Jose Earthquakes soccer analyst and has worked with Fox Sports and the Pac-12 Network. Slaton was the second-leading scorer for the Santa Clara women’s soccer team in 2008.
Slaton was a three-time All-American and member of Santa Clara’s 2001 national championship team. She will be inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, and will join the other inductees, including Dwight Clark, Mark Marquess, and Jack Roddy. Her honor comes with great expectations. The Bay Area is proud of SCU’s achievements in women’s soccer.
In addition to playing soccer at the collegiate level, Slaton also studies psychology and mental health. She also plays the left fullback position for the Lady Dons. Slaton has been named an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and All-West Coast Conference three times. Her commitment to community service has been rewarded with numerous awards, including the Herman Award.
In addition to her coaching duties, Slaton is an activist and a role model for women. She serves on the board of directors for the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative. She is also a member of the Positive Coaching Alliance and has traveled as a sports envoy for the U.S. State Department. She is also inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Santa Clara University.
Danielle Huerta, a forward for the Santa Clara women’s soccer team, was a standout freshman and sophomore in college. She was named First Team All-WCC as a freshman and tallied eight goals and two assists. As a junior, she was a First Team All-WCC selection and tied for the team lead in goals and assists. In addition to her impressive play as a player, she was named to the All-WCC second team, and was a finalist for the NWSL Rookie of the Year Award.
A Mexico-born player, Huerta represented her country at the 2012 Under-20 Women’s World Cup. She was later granted a FIFA waiver to represent the United States and currently trains with the U.S. Soccer Federation. She went on to score two goals for Mexico during the World Cup and has capped her career with five goals. In September 2013, she was loaned to Adelaide United in Australia.
Sofia Huerta, a former teammate of Danielle Huerta, played for the Broncos for five years, scoring 14 goals and providing nine assists. She was a Co-Player of the Year in the Western Coast Conference and was drafted by the Chicago Red Stars in 2014. She has scored 13 goals in 45 career games for the Red Stars.
Kelsey Turnbow was one of the top scorers in the history of the Santa Clara women’s soccer team. The 3.932 GPA senior finished her career with 56 goals and 16 assists in 67 games for the Broncos. Turnbow was named College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player and led Santa Clara to its second National Championship. Her collegiate career is highlighted by numerous accolades, including First Team All-American, 2020 WCC All-Academic, and WCC Player of the Year. Turnbow’s collegiate career was highlighted by an individual NIL contract with ChiliSleep.
Kelsey Turnbow, a junior forward, helped Santa Clara win the 2020 national championship and finish in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16. The San Jose native is currently the sixth best player in the nation in the NCAA DI women’s soccer team. She was also drafted in the 2021 NWSL Draft by the Chicago Red Stars. Turnbow is one of only five Arizona natives to play in the NWSL.
After the national championship, Turnbow had an option to transfer to another college but chose to stay in Santa Clara to finish her MBA. This decision has paid off for the Wave, as Turnbow has helped develop a strong team culture in the San Diego area. Turnbow and her teammates spend much of their free time together by the pool or the beach. They also enjoy conversations with veteran teammates and coaches. With Turnbow leading the team, the San Diego Wave is building a culture of values and excellence.
The defending NCAA champion Broncos will host Stanford on Saturday. Alex Loera is a defender who anchored Santa Clara’s back line in WCC play. Loera has two goals and seven assists on the season. Her game-winning goal against Saint Mary’s secured the title. She also earned the Honda Award last season and is a candidate for the MAC Hermann Trophy.
Despite her academic obligations, Loera remained in Santa Clara to play collegiate soccer. She graduated with a degree in biology, and carries a 3.78 GPA as a graduate student. She helped the program through COVID restrictions on its way to capturing the 2020 National Championship. She also worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, which helped foster the development of soccer for girls in the Bay Area.
Loera, a senior defender for Santa Clara, has been named a finalist for the Honda Award. She is one of four players to win three consecutive First Team All-West Coast Conference honors. She has tallied nine goals and nine assists this season and is a candidate for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Aside from Loera, Santa Clara has also produced a record-breaking season with five seniors earning first-team All-WCC recognition.
In a match that saw an hour-and-a-half of rain delay, the Santa Clara women’s soccer team won 2-1. Sally Menti scored the game-winning goal with an assist from Emma Reeves and Skylar Smith. After scoring a goal, SCU’s season record is now 2-0. The next game between the two teams is a California Coastal Conference match on Saturday.https://www.youtube.com/embed/K8xJAINuppw