Episode 17 – Rival Schools United By Podcasts

Kendall Johnson and Maxine Goynes

New Episode! Recorded October 27,2010 and it is alive with lengthiness! This is our first proper episode since the UP-SCU project. We had a lot to say about the game this year and the coverage from ESPNU.

(About the title: If you don’t know what Rival Schools means you should be ashamed to not know and spend time around pimply Best Buy employees who can tell you all about it.)

Full show notes after the jump: Read more of this post

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The Biggest Game of the Year, Part 3: What was THAT?

It’s been a few days. I enjoyed the win, really I did. Both Ruth and I will have things to say about it in later posts and the podcast. (As far as the result, I feel as though it could be summed up this way: Portland’s best scoring chance was decided by no one but themselves and, unfortunately, Santa Clara let theirs be decided by the referee.)

But there was this nagging thought: 695? Seriously, Santa Clara supporters, What Was That? What was THAT?

In high school debate, we used a lot of words to describe the “status quo,” or the situation that our resolutions were proposing to eliminate. Two of those words come to mind when thinking about that attendance number: travesty and unacceptable.

I don’t think at any point we (read: I) were exaggerating when we made the claim that the Santa Clara-Portland rivalry was the greatest, most intense rivalry in women’s soccer. I don’t know that last Sunday was its best showing. It was a good game, honestly. Not the best in the rivalry that I’ve seen, but certainly the best combined field performance by both teams since 2006. It’s hard to get an away win and Portland certainly earned it, but I can’t help thinking that, well… it could have been harder.

Oh, Bronco supporters. It’s said the crowd can be the 12th player. After fighting through years of injuries and three years of losses to Portland, that team needed you. Those girls deserve better. Your team deserves better.

Pilots-Broncos Rivalry – Meagan McCray Interview

Meagan McCray

Although the Portland-Santa Clara game for 2010 has been played, we have a few more player responses to share.

This time through, we have Meagan McCray, Julie Juarez’s successor. Meagan was with the Broncos from 2005 through 2008 and clocked significant minutes even before claiming the starting spot. In 2009, she spent the WPS season with FC Gold Pride, and in 2010, she was with the Washington Freedom.

Here is her take on the Portland-Santa Clara rivalry, written prior to the game…

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Pilots-Broncos Rivalry – Brittany Klein Interview

Brittany Klein

Starting off the Q&A email segments of the Portland-Santa Clara rivalry project is Santa Clara alum Brittany Klein. A two-year captain, Brittany played at midfield for the Broncos from 2004 through 2007. In 2009, she played for the Chicago Red Stars as well as in the WPS All-Star game. In 2010, she ended her season in Washington with the Freedom. Originally, we were going to interview her as a special episode for the podcast, but with a professional’s busy schedule, Brittany agreed to fill us in through email instead.

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A fan’s take on the Portland-Santa Clara rivalry project

Personal fandom is a tricky thing.

When I started following soccer, I came in through the usual gateway: the US Women’s National Team and UNC. I had no familial or regional ties in women’s soccer and hadn’t quite grasped whatever it was that keeps a family loyal to a particular school. I approached women’s soccer with the same voraciousness that I approached anything at that age, and I very quickly branched out beyond those starter teams. I feel pretty fortunate to have outgrown UNC as soon as I did, because I immediately wound up falling in love with Santa Clara. This turned out to be my team, the one that I realized I was going to stick with through thick and thin, not just because they had umpteen-odd national championships.

I’ve never been to the Bay Area. I don’t have any family in California. SCU doesn’t have a football team, so most people I run into don’t even know this school exists. I have had to build this fannishness myself, and I have had to sustain it in isolation. Through injuries, through missing the postseason, through transfers and suspensions. Through a good friend’s Portland Pilots obsession. I realize that I lose credit for not being born into it and not being on the right coast. I might as well be following UC Irvine, right?

What initially drew me to the Broncos was the style of play. I look at the way Marian Dalmy and Leslie Osborne hit the field, and in my mind, that is SCU soccer. It’s tough and graceful, sometimes broken and sometimes triumphant.  The roster from those first couple of years that I was following are still larger than life for me. Most other 20-something fans of women’s soccer have the 91ers and 1999 with the USWNT, but I have the early 2000s with Santa Clara. Julie Juarez is my Brianna Scurry.

What Julie said in her interview, about women’s soccer being a labor of love, is an echo of what you hear everywhere else. But that doesn’t make it less true. When Joan started the UP-SCU rivalry project, it was just an idea with a lot of possibilities–a lot of maybes and maybe-nots. We didn’t know how we were going to reach players or if they were going to respond. But as you can see, things fell into place, snowballed, and here we are.

With interviews on both sides of the rivalry, I have learned a lot more about my team. To be honest, I’ve felt sort of out of touch with them this year. There are 12 freshmen, few ways for me to catch up on the game, and the occasional reminder that the last group of rookies that I let myself get really attached to have (mostly) graduated. Although I had joked about it after our interview with Julie–about how I sort of feel like I’m in one of those cultures where the infant mortality rate is so high that children aren’t named until a week or year old so the parents don’t get too attached–the distancing really hit home when we talked to Maxine.

This project has turned me back around, let me bring that extra energy from my earlier years as a fan and tie them to the present team. It’s still Santa Clara. I don’t have to worry about trades or whether the Broncos are going to fold. I can joke about injuries and I know there is the occasional transfer, but the great thing about Santa Clara is the consistency of character and style, the continual fight without undue or unchallenged dominance. No matter what, I’ve never had a boring season with the Broncos.

When Santa Clara hosts Portland on Sunday, it’s not going to be like other years. We have heard over and over again from the players that they were mostly aware of the rivalry before they picked their school, but they didn’t grasp the depth of it until that match-up their freshman year and finding the atmosphere changed, just because of this game.

For the Broncos this year, twelve freshmen, whether on the bench or on the field, are going to experience that for the first time.

I am seriously excited for them, no matter what the outcome.

Special Episode 05 – Amanda Poach and Maxine Goynes Interviews

Amanda Poach

Maxine Goynes

In a bonus double-episode for the Pilots-Broncos project, we spoke to Santa Clara’s Amanda Poach and Maxine Goynes. Amanda Poach is a sixth year senior, current captain, and as Cross-Conference followers know, a 2006 U-20 WNT player. Although she was drafted into WPS this spring, she returned to Santa Clara after being granted another year of eligibility. Maxine Goynes is a fourth year senior and former team captain. Listed as a forward this year, she has played up front and on the backline and logged significant minutes against Portland in the past three seasons. After scoring her second goal of the season this past weekend against San Francisco, she is really due a third against Portland on Sunday.

We encountered some technical difficulties the evening that we recorded these, and I apologize to the Broncos for that.

Santa Clara-San Diego highlights

Shortly after our interview, Julie passed along the link to a really great highlight video of the SCU-USD game, which SCU won 1-0. It was shot and cut together by the husband of former Bronco Bree Horvath (2001-2004). Even if you aren’t into either team, it’s a great video for women’s soccer.