Throwback MondayEach Monday for the rest of the summer will be “Throwback Monday”. I will feature a column or article from years past when I was a sports writer and editor at The Santa Clara (appropriately titled as the student newspaper at Santa Clara University). My hope is that you will find laughs, ridiculousness and maybe some truth in my attempts to write as a 20-22 year old.
This is from my weekly column “Between the Lines” on May 18, 2000.
In sports, a dynasty is created when a team wins consistently year after year. The Chicago Bulls. The New York Yankees. UCLA basketball. All these teams created dynasties in their own time, yet it is often not recognized until years after it occurred. So I am here to let everyone know that a dynasty lurks among us.
Santa Clara women’s soccer is becoming a dynasty in collegiate athletics and leading the way is Head Coach Jerry Smith. The numbers speak for themselves. Four straight Final Fours. Three straight seasons with 20 or more wins. Six All-Americans. And 11 consecutive years ranked in the top 10. Wow.
Yet one thing eludes women’s soccer from becoming a dynasty – a national championship. Greatness is often determined in sports by winning the title. Somethings that is simply wrong. While Santa Clara cannot be mentioned in the same breath as North Carolina women’s soccer just yet, the Broncos have definitely created something to not be ignored.
Considering both former and current players, Santa Clara has as much talent as any university in the nation. If you need proof, look to the U.S. National team.
Bronco alum Brandi Chastain, senior Nikki Serlenga, sophomore Danielle Slaton and redshirt freshman Aly Wagner were all selected to compete in the Pacific Cup beginning later this month. And wasn’t there some other other player who joined some sort of club last year? Oh yeah, senior Mandy Clemens, arguably the best player in Bronco history, played on the national team earlier this year in Australia. All she did in her career was join the exclusive 60/60 club (60 goals and 60 assists) of which there are only five other members.
But to some observers, all of this hoopla means nothing without the national championship. Listen: a dynasty is not just about winning championships. Great players and consistently winning each season becomes part of a dynasty as well. Michael Jordan. Babe Ruth. Lew Alcindor. Without these names, there would be no dynasties. So the only thing missing from the Santa Clara dynasty is that national championship.
Forget about it. After fully dominating the competition once again next season, the women’s soccer team will bring home their first national championship. And when it happens, remember to enjoy the moment and realize that we are in the midst of a sports dynasty.
So many things to talk about here. Where to start? First, I am such a “homer”. A sports dynasty HAS to involve winning titles. What was I talking about? Michael Jordan was part of a dynasty because he was the best player ever AND he won six titles. Same type of description goes for Ruth and Alcindor. Stupid.
Second, I was almost right. The Santa Clara women’s soccer team did win their national championship…in 2001. I was off by one year.
Third, this column was prompted by the fact that the SCU team had gone all season in the fall of 1999 with a #1 ranking and an undefeated and untied season. Can you imagine that? They destroyed everyone and then were upset in the semifinals by Notre Dame. Also, this shows you how sad Santa Clara is because we had no football at all and no basketball that did anything successful post-Steve Nash.
Lastly, the main reason I chose this column today is because Hope Solo needs to check herself before she wrecks herself.
Hope Solo decided to get all high and mighty again on Twitter.
Hey Hope, you are a bit sensitive. Apparently the tweeting came from Chastain commenting that defender Rachel Buehler needed to defend better. Solo then continued her rant when asked about it by saying that “the game has changed from 10 years ago” and Chastain needs to get “more educated”. What is wrong with Hope Solo? I think she really might be bi-polar or something.
Um Hope, Educate this. Chastain has 191 caps to your 120. Chastain has two gold medals, one silver medal and two World Cup championships. She probably knows soccer a little bit.