Kelsey Turnbow ’20 Scores First-Team All-West Region Honors
The first-year forward helped lead Santa Clara to a Sweet 16 finish in the NCAA tournament.
Turnbow finished second in the West Coast Conference in goals (13), game-winners (5), and points (31) and her scoring output is tied for 20th nationally. She finished second on Santa Clara with five assists.
That record also scored the Scottsdale, Arizona resident All-Conference Freshman of the Year honors. And it makes her the first Santa Clara freshman to rack up 10+ goals in a season since Leslie Osborne also tallied 13 in 2001, the year the Broncos won the national title.
Turnbow says guidance from Coach Jerry Smith, his staff, and her teammates was key to this year’s success. “The coaching staff is nothing short of impressive,” says Turnbow, who plans on majoring in business. “Being a freshman here at Santa Clara, my game has drastically grown in the short time I’ve been here because of their great coaching and mentoring.”
In recent years Turnbow participated in the Under 14, Under 15, Under 17, Under 18, Under 19, and Under 20 U.S. Women’s national soccer teams. She was named player of the year in Washington and Arizona and earned NSCAA All-American honors twice. She’s also maintained a 4.0 GPA at Santa Clara.
During her first Santa Clara season, she’s worked on improving the spin she puts on shots so they will curve past the goalie and slide in to the far post, while also upping her tactical game through savvier positioning when she’s off the ball.
“From a psychological standpoint, I have learned to be more mentally strong when things get tough,” Turnbow says. “I have gotten physically stronger in the weight room and more conditioned to withstand long, intense collegiate games.”
It’s a work ethic that yielded results throughout conference play and into the NCAA Tournament.
On October 20 at Saint Mary’s, Turnbow recorded the 28th hat trick in program history and became the 18th Bronco to accomplish the feat. From Oct. 6-27, she scored multiple goals three times in five matches.
Santa Clara advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the first time since 2004-05 that the Broncos have advanced at least that far in back-to-back years after making the national quarterfinals in 2016. The experience has fueled Turnbow’s determination to advance farther in coming seasons.
“As a team, although making it to the Sweet 16 is an outstanding accomplishment, we are not satisfied but are rather hungry to go even farther,” she says. “We possess a common goal of making it to the Final 4 in the NCAA tournament, which means we have to work hard in the off season.
“I believe continuing to cultivate the positive, healthy environment that Santa Clara Women’s Soccer has created and possesses will be key for next season so we can achieve our goals.”