Skip to main content
Logo for Alumni

“The passion of the Bronco Nation—both on and off the field—was on full display for everyone to see.”

- Danielle Slaton ’02, Captain, 2001 championship team and Defensive MVP, 2001 College Cup

For the first time since 2001, SCU Women’s Soccer won the national championship, and alumni came out in force to support them throughout. While Danielle Slaton ’02, her former teammates, and many other alumni cheered from the stands in Cary, North Carolina, plenty of other Broncos were amidst the 550 fans cheering from the watch party at San Jose’s PayPal Park. In addition, 170 alumni showed their spirit at the virtual watch parties for the Ohio, North Carolina and Florida State games. And countless Broncos tuned in from home or watched at watering holes across the nation (including at a local venue known as The Hut)!

“I want to thank the amazing support we received from our alums, our current students, our faculty and the Bronco community,” said women’s soccer head coach Jerry Smith. “...Without you behind us pushing us along we wouldn’t be standing here today as national champs.”

Read Congratulatory Messages to the Team from SCU Alumni

Women's soccer virtual watch party
Alex Loera, Danielle Slaton, Jerry Smith, Aly Wagner, and Kelsey Turnbow after the championship win
So. Much. Pride.
Alex Loera, Danielle Slaton, Jerry Smith, Aly Wagner, and Kelsey Turnbow after the championship win

Alex Loera (Defensive MVP, 2020 College Cup), Danielle Slaton '02 (Defensive MVP, 2001 College Cup), women's soccer head coach Jerry Smith, Aly Wagner '02 (Offensive MVP, 2001 College Cup), and Kelsey Turnbow (Offensive MVP, 2020 College Cup)

By Danielle Slaton ’02

Twenty years ago, on a Sunday afternoon in Dallas, the SCU Women’s Soccer team beat the North Carolina Tar Heels to win our first national championship, so you can rest assured that when the Broncos were taking on Carolina in the semifinals of the Final Four this year, I was glued to the television. SCU handed UNC their second loss of the season, winning the right to take on No. 1-ranked Florida State in the championship game of the NCAA tournament. Moments after the final whistle blew, the text messages started flying. “Who’s in? We should definitely go, right? It’s so far! I have work. I’d need to find daycare. How much are plane tickets? Has anyone looked up flight options yet?”

Twenty-four hours later, Leslie Osborne Lewis ’05 was the first one to send a text saying, “I just bought my flight.” That’s all it took to start the avalanche. Within a day, we were on a redeye out of SFO. We came in hot to the Raleigh-Durham airport at 5 a.m. on the morning of the game, and others alums from around the country flew in as well. We had about 25 former women’s soccer players in total. Gameday was simple: nap, workout, connect with fellow alums, and then scream your face off and do whatever you possibly could to help the team beat FSU.

One of the coolest aspects of the game–in addition to reconnecting with those from our fierce soccer sorority–was the fact that our seats were right behind the SCU bench. Literally, we were only five yards away from the team! We really felt as if the players could hear us cheering. We were determined to make sure the team knew we were with them for the entire game. And boy oh boy, did we give it everything we had. Our tagline became, “As hoarse as a Bronco!” (Ruff Riders: you can thank Anny Madden Tedeschi ’97 when you put that on a shirt next year) and no one had any voice remaining after the match was over.

There was cheering, stress, tactical analysis at times, and screaming. But there was also reconnection and laughter and joy and fun. And so. Much. Pride. Our team fought back to tie the game in the second half, weathered FSU’s pressure in extra time, and then converted every single one of its penalty kicks to win the game.

After watching the team hoist the trophy on the field, the entire Bronco crew–players, coaches, staff, family, friends and alumni all headed to a restaurant to continue the celebration. My highlight of the evening was taking a picture alongside Aly Wagner (Offensive MVP of the 2001 College Cup), Kelsey Turnbow (Offensive MVP of the 2020 College Cup), and Alex Loera (Defensive MVP of the 2020 College Cup). I was the Defensive MVP in 2001 and all four of us were in the same room on that championship night; today’s superstars and yesterday’s pioneers celebrating something far bigger than any one of us. We were celebrating the accomplishments of four decades of SCU women’s soccer and a special place like Santa Clara University where so many of us have been able to achieve our dreams. Let’s do it again next season, OK? The Final Four this December is at PayPal Park in San Jose. I’ll meet you there. Twenty years is too long between championships. :-)

Broncos at Virtual Watch Parties
Fans at PayPal Stadium
Messages of Support
SCU Athletic Department - Watch the Women's Soccer Championship Celebration
Navigate here to Watch the Women's Soccer National Championship Celebration
SCU Athletic Department - National Champions Merchandise
Navigate here to Buy National Championship Merchandise