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Superlative Season

Superlative Season

By Eryn Olson ’16

View full image. Senior Dani Weatherholt deflected a corner kick into the goal to beat Stanford 1–0. In January she was drafted by the Orlando Pride. Photography by Denis Concordel
The women’s soccer team upset then-No. 6 Stanford this year and won four matches in double overtime.
A superlative season for the Bronco women started with the toughest preseason regimen that Coach Jerry Smith had ever demanded. It paid off in four thrilling double-overtime victories, a historic win over then-No. 6-ranked Stanford, a seven-game unbeaten streak, and the program’s 25th trip to the NCAA tournament in 27 years. Six Broncos earned all-conference recognition.
 
All that in a year when the WCC was the most competitive it’s ever been. Three teams made it to the second round of the NCAA tourney. Santa Clara bested rival Long Beach State at home in the first round but fell to Arizona in the second. The Broncos finished the season 14–6–2.
 
Here are some of the women who made it happen:
 
Call co-captain Andi Tostanoski ’16 a force in the net. “She is a coach’s dream,” Smith said, “plays big in big moments, does all the right things when no one is looking.” She ranked No. 12 in the country for save percentage and led the league with 10 shutouts. After she graduates in March, Tostanoski includes on her to-do list: play professional soccer abroad for a few years, work with a nonprofit for young girls, earn a master’s degree in strength and conditioning, and volunteer coach in Central or South America. 
 
Co-captain Dani Weatherholt ’16 is headed for Florida to play pro soccer: She was picked by the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League draft in January. “Dani is about as driven, focused, tough, and hard working a student-athlete as you’re going to find,” said Smith. She bookended her Santa Clara career with goals against Stanford. The ball she deflected into the goal this season—on a corner kick by Megan Crosson ’16—was the game-winner and sole goal of the game. Crosson recently accepted an offer from the Houston Dash.
 
Julie Vass ’16 posted a few team bests—including eight goals and five game-winners. That earned the economics major a special place in fans’ hearts and a spot on the All-WCC First Team.
 
Along with those four seniors, take note of the big roles some younger stars played: Kellie Peay ’18 and Jazmin Jackmon ’19 started every game. Jackmon joined Janae Gonzalez ’19 as All-WCC Freshman Team honorees. And forwards Mariana Galvan ’17 and Grace Cutler ’19 scored crucial game-winning goals throughout the year. Galvan scored three clutch double-overtime game-winners. And Cutler scored the sole goal against Long Beach State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Call that a big one.
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