SCU women’s soccer returned from its opening road trip to Virginia last August looking nothing like a team expected to exhibit greatness: two losses in two games by a combined total of 6 to 0. Even at the hand of top-ranked opponents, such defeats seemed ominous. But the players quickly made good on Coach Jerry Smith’s promise to learn from the drubbing. Back at Buck Shaw Stadium, they routed Long Beach State 4–0, setting the tone for the remainder of a season that was marked by stout defense and offensive torrents.
By the end of the year, the Broncos had outscored opponents 62 to 25 en route to a Top 10 national ranking and the program’s 10th WCC title, its first since 2006.
The ingredients for success were obvious: an all-star roster headed by three WCC first-team selections, including seniors Morgan Marlborough, the league’s top scorer, and Julie Johnston, the WCC Player of the Year, a field general whom Smith calls one of the greatest to ever don a Santa Clara jersey.
“Julie is our best defender, best attacker, and best leader,” he says.