Santa Clara University

sports roundup

Broncos post highest graduation rates in WCC

For the third straight year, scholarship student-athletes at Santa Clara University graduated at the highest rate in the West Coast Conference and the second-highest among Division I institutions in California, according to an NCAA report. SCU student-athletes graduated at a four-year average rate of 78 percent while the overall student body graduated at 82 percent. The report examines a four-year rolling average ending with freshman entering school in 1997-98. Santa Clara ’s student-athlete graduation rate is considerably higher than the NCAA Division I average of 60 percent for student-athletes and the 71 percent average for Division I private institutions.

Men’s hoops beats top teams

Travis Niesen
Travis Niesen shoots over North Carolina’s Sean May during the Broncos’ upset win over the Tarheels.

The Bronco basketball program opened its 100th anniversary in a big way with headline-grabbing wins over fourth-ranked North Carolina and local rival Stanford during the early part of the season.

Dick Davey, in his 13th season at SCU, led his team to a 77-66 victory over the highly favored Tar Heels in the eighth annual Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland. The win was the program’s first over a top-five ranked team since the 78-69 victory over fourth-ranked and defending national champion UCLA in the first round of the Maui Invitational in 1995. In late November, the Broncos outgunned Stanford by a score of 86-76 in front of a raucous crowd in the Leavey Center. That marked the first win over the Cardinal since the 1989-90 season.

The annual West Coast Conference Championships will return to Santa Clara in March. Like last year, sold-out crowds are expected, so call 408-554-4660 or visit the official athletic Web site at www.santaclarabroncos.com for ticket information.

Women’s soccer reaches final four again

Leslie Osborne
Leslie Osborne celebrates after scoring a goal in the Broncos' 2-0 win in an NCAA quarterfinal match against Illinois.

SCU reached its 10th College Cup and made it to the semifinal match, where it lost 1-0 to Notre Dame in Cary, N.C. The Broncos’ road to the final four included an 1-0 overtime victory over defending national champion and top-seeded North Carolina, which hadn’t lost a match all year. Santa Clara, which won a national championship in 2001 and was runner-up in 2002, finished the season 18-5-2. Senior Leslie Osborne was named the nation’s top female college soccer player, becoming the third Bronco to win the honor.

Santa Clara leads WCC Commissioner’s Cup standings

After posting another successful fall season, the Santa Clara athletic department led the annual West Coast Conference Commissioner’s Cup standings. The Broncos won the WCC women’s soccer title, finished third in the league in volleyball, men’s soccer, and men’s cross country, and finished fourth in women’s cross country. Santa Clara has finished second in each of the first three years of the all-sports competition, which provides a predetermined number of points for placing in each of the league championships. At the end of the year, a men’s and women’s champion as well as an all-sports champion is crowned.

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