Brandi Chastain ’91 has been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Chastain is a leader in women’s sports and a pioneer soccer professional, best known for a game-winning penalty kick at the 1999 Women’s World Cup in the Rose Bowl. She made the covers of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Time magazines after the nation-stopping goal. But the woman who played every position but goalkeeper had an illustrious 12-year international career that included three World Cups and three Summer Olympics. U.S. teams with Chastain won the World Cup in 1991 and ’99 and the Olympic gold medal in 1996 and 2004. She was the first player to score five goals in a game, doing it during the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991. Chastain scored 30 goals in 192 appearances for the U.S. national team, where she spent most of her career as a defender.
Chastain assists her husband, Jerry Smith, with coaching the Santa Clara women’s team. The star also helped launched women’s professional soccer in the United States, playing for the now-defunct San Jose CyberRays in 2001-03 and Bay Area-based FC Gold Pride in 2009. Along with Marlene Bjornsrud (former associate athletics director at SCU) and U.S. teammate Julie Foudy, she founded the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI, pronounced "Bossy" but in a good way) in 2005 that helps bring health wholeness and collegiate female student athletes to underserved girls. Having started with 11 girls, the initiative now helps service more than 19,000 girls through sports and activity. Check out bawsi.org to learn more.