Special Episode 04 – Julie (Ryder) Juarez interview


Julie (Ryder) Juarez

photo by firebugg@webshots


After opening the rivalry project with three Pilots, we spoke to former Bronco goalkeeper Julie (Ryder) Juarez. As the starting keeper from 2003-2005, Julie faced Portland’s offense four times, including a penalty kick shootout her freshman year. Due to injury, Julie was on the bench in 2006, her senior season. Julie has since returned to Santa Clara as an SID for men’s water polo and women’s soccer.

Despite her busy schedule, Julie was very willing to chat with us and had a lot of great stories to share about the rivalry, Santa Clara, and women’s soccer in general. As an SID, she had some unique insights about one of our favorite Cross-Conference topics: online media.

Having the opportunity to talk to Julie was a big deal for me, personally. Julie is “my” original keeper, the first GK at any level of the sport to make me sit up and pay attention. Paying attention to keepers gave me a better appreciation for the backline; paying attention to Santa Clara’s backline gave me a better appreciation for my team as a whole. Santa Clara’s defense has a distinct character, making it not only one of my favorite aspects of the team, but one of my favorite parts of the college game.

I’m not sure we properly expressed this in our call, but we have a huge appreciation for the work Julie is doing as an SID. Without people like her, we wouldn’t have the live stats, webcasts, or access to women’s soccer that we currently do. The game this year is being broadcast on ESPNU, and Julie is part of making that happen.

Special Episode 03 – Lisa Sari


Lisa Sari (UP Athletics)

Pilots Assistant Coach Lisa Sari (UP Athletics)


We keep it coming!  On Wednesday, we got to talk to Lisa Sari, assistant coach for the Pilots.  That conversation is available on our podcast now.

I’m pretty sure every Pilot fan would list Lisa as one of their top favorite Pilots. She was relentless on the field; very tough and very savvy.  When I think defensive midfielder, I think about someone who protects the back four, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who got the job done for the Pilots better than Sari.

Lisa is an assistant coach now, after spending the WPS’ inaugural season with the LA Sol. She shared her insights about the UP-SCU rivalry from the perspective of a player and a coach. I keep on talking about how thrilled I am to talk to each player, and it’s no lie.  It’s a real treat to talk to folks we admire. I think each interview demonstrates why we think they’re so great and this interview with Lisa Sari is no exception.

The Biggest Game of the Year: Part 2 (Or: How to Have a Great Rivalry)

It’s been awhile since I visited the topic in writing. We’ve gathered several interviews from former and current players and only just now do I realize that I’ve taken granted that all our readers acknowledge that the Pilots and the Broncos have the greatest rivalry and understand what that means. Ruth has pointed out that Notre Dame and Santa Clara have a series stretching back over a decade. But they don’t have a true rivalry.

First of all, what makes a good rivalry? This can be argued, but I believe there are a few essential elements.

  1. The teams must play each other with regularity.
  2. The game must mean something to the end result of the season.
  3. The match up must be truly competitive. (e.g. no Chelsea-Southampton rivalries, right?)

While the Notre Dame-Santa Clara series certainly fits the first and third requirements, it lacks the second. Unless their season hangs on going undefeated, the Irish/Bronco game exists as an early barometer for where the teams are at the start of the season and as gravy for their fans.

In the first post I mentioned that the Portland-Santa Clara game typically happens only once a year. Of course, one year, the game was played twice. (It’s been played twice more than once, of course, but I’m about to tell you the time that the second game mattered most.) The second game took place in Texas in 2002, the NCAA Division I championship final. The previous year, Santa Clara had won their first National Championship in a win over North Carolina, propelled by MAC Hermann winner Aly Wagner. 2002 was special. Portland coach Clive Charles was in his last year of life.  He had cancer, but several years before had promised then player, now assistant coach Garrett Smith that he would win a National Championship.  The game was tense, competitive and eventually won in overtime by Portland on a Christine Sinclair goal.  It was the first national championship for Portland.

It seems that since, the battle has taken on new meaning. Two soccer powerhouses, slugging it out. Two programs, whose firmly held ideas about how the game should be played are sometimes their undoing.

A great rivalry can really get your blood up, really give you something to scream about. As a Roma fan, I see all the time how intense passion can turn into something ugly. To me, what makes the UP-SCU rivalry so remarkable is the mutual respect and lack of bitter animosity between the programs and fans. (Part of this may stem from the fact that as non-UNC fans, a great deal of animosity is directed at UNC.) I hope you’re hearing that respect in the interviews. You’ll read about it soon.  In this battle, there is genuine excitement, but none of the vitriol you might see from a UNC-Duke basketball game or a Roma-Lazio matchup. It’s a foreign thing, so rare and something to be treasured.

Special Episode 02 – Keelin Winters interview

On Monday, we at Cross-Conference Collector had the opportunity to talk to one of our favorite young players, Keelin Winters. She was nice enough to take time away from her studies and training to chat with us and you can listen that interview here.

Keelin is currently in her senior year at Portland. I’ve been a big fan of Keelin’s since her first year at Portland, when she won WCC freshman of the year. It was great to see her and the rest of the team step up in a year when the Pilots suffered some major injuries. Since then, Keelin’s gotten better each year. Named captain of the 2008 U-20 Women’s National Team, Keelin missed the Pilots post season that year, but won the World Cup in Chile.

Keelin was very open about the things the Pilots are working on, her experience of the UP-SCU rivalry, her time with the youth national team and where we might see her in the future.

After the interview, I took the opportunity to dig up my favorite Keelin-related quote:

Last night we watched “Planet Earth – Sharks.” The shark jumped about 37 feet in the air to eat the sea lion. We pretended that the sea lion was Argentina and the shark was Keelin.

Cori Alexander Interview

This past Monday, we got a chance to talk to former University of Portland Pilots goalkeeper, Cori Alexander as a part of our series on the UP-SCU rivalry. Now it’s a podcast episode. We talked about the rivalry before, during, and after Cori’s days as a Pilot goalkeeper as well as her experience on US youth national teams.

Talking to Cori was a pretty special treat for me, as I’m a Portland fan with fond memories of the 2005 National Championship that Cori helped win.  She was incredibly friendly, generous and forthcoming during the interview and I hope it shows.

Aha! Logic behind Notre Dame’s webcast schedule.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish logo

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been testy this season about internal coverage of NCAA women’s soccer. I’ve harped about Notre Dame’s coverage in particular, because while the coverage is still top notch, it isn’t quite at the level that it used to be. Indeed, Irish fans (and fans of teams that play the Irish) are spoiled. The free webcasts for home games have dropped off, which is probably what makes me the crankiest. It didn’t seem like there was any rhyme or reason to the home games that have been webcast–why show Texas Tech instead of Santa Clara? Why this Syracuse game tonight, but not Minnesota or Milwaukee in August?

Associate Athletic Media Relations Director Chris Masters has volunteered the answers, which I will boil down to basics: there have been cutbacks in multimedia staffing, which means that when a home game for women’s soccer overlaps a home football pep rally… you don’t even have to do the math. Pretty much everyone knows Hope Solo is crazy when she says the numbers don’t matter. The Texas Tech webcast was not “instead of” Santa Clara, and the Minnesota and Milwaukee games both occurred before school was back in session. This Friday’s game will have a webcast because football is away this weekend, but next weekend will be audio only because football is at home.

Notre Dame has four more women’s soccer home games in the regular season:

  • Tonight, against Syracuse (webcast, 7:30 pm Eastern)
  • Sunday, against St. John’s (televised on CBS College Sports, with audio online, 12 pm)
  • Friday, against Seton Hall (audio only because of football, 7:30 pm Eastern)
  • Sunday, October 10, Senior Day against Rutgers (televised on ESPNU, 1 pm Eastern)
  • …and you have to consider that Notre Dame will go deep enough in the Big East and NCAA tournaments to merit even more televised or webcast games.

Not that Notre Dame really needs to justify the webcast schedule. The Irish would have a very strong web presence even without video. Online audio coverage is available, and interactive live blogs provide a good alternative to GameTracker. There are three options for different kinds of coverage via Twitter (@NDSoccer and @NDsoccernews), including an account for Head Coach Randy Waldrum (@NDCoachWaldrum), who is very personable.

It’s rough not having as much video from South Bend this year, because this is one of the few college teams that I’ve been able to see regularly. So it’s nice to know that the people in charge out there are aware that the loss has been felt and are doing what they reasonably can to give the fans updates. Masters, in particular, has the insane job of being SID for both women’s soccer and women’s basketball, another one of those rare women’s sports programs that receives surprisingly good (and free!) coverage.

Gotta love the Irish. Gotta transition from persecuted WPS/pro-soccer mode to enthusiastic and happy NCAA mode. Gotta watch the game wherever you can get it.

How are the U-20s doing in the NCAA season?

Since we are about a month into college play and certain U-20 influenced teams are having surprising results (both good and bad), I feel as though it would be beneficial to check up on the NCAA-based youth nationals. This list might be incomplete, as it’s mostly based on the clubs submitted to FIFA for the rosters. If I know that the players are with NCAA teams that aren’t included on FIFA’s rosters, then I have listed them (a couple of Mexico’s, for instance), but otherwise, I have probably missed a few internationals. Because Canada did not qualify for the World Cup, I have not included those players.

Arizona is 2-3-1 so far with wins over Cal Poly and Tennessee. This is a rough start to the season, and Pac-10 play won’t be any easier.

  • Renae Cuellar (Mexico) has played all six games. She has taken 26 shots (14 on goal), put away six goals (one game-winner), and recorded three assists. Overall, the Wildcats have 11 goals this season. You do the math.

Auburn is ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2007, at 21/25, having started the season 5-2-0. One of the highlights so far was beating Florida State 3-2 in an overtime game.

  • Ashley Kotero (Mexico) has played two games and already recorded two shots and a goal.
  • Bianca Sierra (Mexico) played all seven games with two starts. She has taken three shots and notched one assist.

Boston College (5) holds a 5-0-1 record, having tied Stanford in the season opener. They have had a decent non-conference schedule, but it’s not as competitive as some other teams’.

  • Victoria DiMartino (USA) is having a standard season: 19 shots (nine on goal), seven goals (two game-winners), and one assist.
  • Kristie Mewis (USA) has 18 shots (nine on goal), three goals (one game-winner), and five assists.

California is 4-0-2 on the season and ranked 18/19 in the nation. We might get a chance to see how they fare without Alex Morgan this season, as she is still getting call-ups for the USWNT.

  • Betsy Hassett (New Zealand) started in four of the six games she has played this season. She has taken seven shots, two of which were on goal.

Creighton is 4-2-2 and (unsurprisingly, as this is a Missouri Valley Conference school) not ranked.

  • Gabriella Guillen (Costa Rica) started two of her six games so far. She has taken six shots, one on goal, and recorded one assist.

Duke is having a good season, starting 5-1-1 and ranked 14/15 depending on whom you ask. The loss came at the hands of Stanford, and the tie was a scoreless draw with FIU.

  • Mollie Pathman (USA), a freshman, has played all seven games. She is credited with 15 shots (10 on goal), two goals (one game-winner), and two assists.

Florida State isn’t necessarily struggling, but 5-2-0 with losses away (Auburn) and at home (Florida!) could be troubling. At the very least, that home loss to Florida must smart. The Seminoles are ranked 8th in the nation.

  • Ines Jaurena (France) has started and played in six games (DNP vs Stetson). She has taken three shots (two on goal), scored one goal and assisted on another. She has also converted a penalty kick. Too bad she couldn’t play for the US.
  • Toni Pressley (USA) has also converted a pair of PKs this season. She has taken six shots (five on goal!) and scored two goals (one a game-winner). She also has an assist.
  • Casey Short (USA) hasn’t taken PKs, but she does have 13 shots (six on goal). She’s tallied one goal in seven games played.

Georgia has advanced to 21 in the national polls and is 4-2-1, with losses to surging Duke and strong Stanford teams and a recent tie with Santa Clara.

  • Ashley Baker (England), a redshirt freshman, has started all seven games for the Bulldogs. She is credited with 41 saves, has seven goals-against, and notched an assist in the Georgia State game. Right on, keeper.

IPFW is 2-5-0 to start. This probably won’t be the Mastadons’ best season.

  • Erin Nayler (New Zealand) has started six of the seven games she has played as a freshman. She and junior GK Kristen McFadden split netminding duties in a 4-3 loss to unbeaten SIUE. Nayler has 14 goals against and 37 saves.

Lynn University is a DII school in Florida. The team has a 3-0 record.

  • Melissa Ortiz (Columbia) has played 200 of 273 possible minutes. She leads the team with 17 shots taken. She has one goal and one assist.

Mississippi State is off to a 6-1-0 start but will probably struggle when meeting with Oklahoma State this weekend. MSU’s schedule doesn’t seem to have been strong so far.

  • Monica Alvarado (Mexico) started and played six games this season. Eight shots (five on goal) and one assist. She missed the recent game against Jackson State.

North Carolina, ranked No. 1, etc, etc. 6-0-1 with a tie against Stanford. Second verse, same as the first… twenty or so, right? Anson Dorrance has 700ish wins and says his team probably shouldn’t be No. 1. Okay then!

  • Amber Brooks (USA) is a regular starter for the Tar Heels. She has taken ten shots (half on goal) and scored with three of those.
  • Crystal Dunn (USA) is also a regular starter and has played at least a hundred more minutes than Brooks. She has taken a shot and notched an assist.
  • Meg Morris (USA) is a starter and only has about 400 minutes on the field, but she has taken four shots (one on goal) and tallied an assist.

Pacific spent September playing a surprisingly tough schedule against ranked teams. They are 2-4-1, highlighting with a recent tie against Oregon.

  • Angelica Figueroa (Mexico) started six of her seven games for Pacific. She has taken six shots, two on goal, and scored once. She also has three assists and a yellow card.  Her game-tying goal (and her yellow) came in the Oregon game.

Penn State is struggling more than expected this season. A strong schedule has left them 1-5-1 after a month of play. They have lost five straight games and mercifully dropped out of the top-25. Things are only going to get worse with Lexi Marton injured.

  • Maya Hayes (USA) has started six of seven games in her freshman year. She has 13 shots (seven on goal), two goals, and one assist. Not bad, compared to…
  • Christine Nairn (USA), one of the U-20 captains. She has started all seven games for the Nittany Lions, taken 27 shots (put only 8 on frame), scored two goals, and assisted one. This is a very frustrating season already. Edit: given my later comment on Leroux, it’s important to note that Nairn had a PK blocked (by 2008 U-20 GK Chantel Jones) in the game against Virginia. She did convert in the game against Portland, but the final result was disappointing.

Portland is, as my co-writer says, flying under the radar at No. 3 in the nation with a decent schedule (comparable to UNC’s, probably) and 8-0-0 record.

  • Kendall Johnson (USA) started all four of the games she has played in and took two shots. [A/N: knee injury, but not season ending?]

Oklahoma State, 5-1-0, has been okay against okay teams. They ended August with a loss to Portland.

  • Adrianna Franch (USA) has been sharing the net with two other keepers but played all six games. She has 19 saves and three goals against.

San Diego has played a good schedule so far and kept a decent 4-2-1 record. Their recent loss to UC Irvine is surprising, but they beat USC in the preseason!

  • Natalie Garcia (Mexico) is a regular starter. She has taken four shots, all on goal, and has one assist.

Santa Clara has played a mixed-strength non-conference schedule to a 4-1-2 record. The Broncos’ ties with Cal and Georgia are probably a good indicator of what can be expected this season. Somehow, SCU still sits at 9th in the polls.

  • Bianca Henninger (USA) has played all 670 minutes in goal for the Broncos. She has made 26 saves and has five goals against.

Stanford is off to a 4-0-2 start and ranked No. 2 in DI under UNC, who they tied soon after tying Boston College (both road games). All of the Cardinal’s U-20 players have been regular starters in all six games.

  • Alina Garciamendez (Mexico), Courtney Verloo (USA), and Rachel Quon (USA) are all playing on a backline that has only allowed six goals so far. Verloo has two shots and one assist. Quon has one shot, one goal, and one assist.
  • Teresa Noyola (USA) is an attacking midfielder with 16 shots (nine on goal), three goals, and three assists.

Texas is doing alright (5-1-1) so far, but the Longhorns are not in the top 25.

  • Leah Fortune (Brazil) has taken 21 shots with 12 of those on goal. Of two goals, one was a game winner. She also has three assists. She is a redshirt freshman this year, having lost most of 2009 to an ankle injury.

UC Irvine is Joan’s randomly chosen second favorite team! Their 4-1-2 record is highlighted by wins over Gonzaga and San Diego and draws with Cal and Pepperdine.

  • Mar Rodriguez (Mexico) has four shots (three on goal) and one goal!

UCLA is not off to an impressive start, but at least they aren’t as bad as Penn State. 4-1-1 so far, the Bruins lost to Northwestern, tied UC Santa Barbara, and needed overtime to beat Notre Dame. UCLA is ranked 10th.

  • Zakiya Bywaters (USA) has taken 19 shots (9 on goal), scored twice (one game-winner), and assisted once.
  • Sydney Leroux (USA) has taken 28 shots, half of them on frame. She has five goals, one assist, and (no joke) didn’t manage to convert her PK attempt. Maybe her four-goal game against Cal Poly makes up for that.
  • Jenna Richmond (USA) beats Leroux’s four goals with two against Notre Dame. 16 shots (11 on goal), 4 goals (2 game-winners), and an assist. As a freshman.

Webster University is DIII. They are 1-3-0 so far.

  • Maria Arias (Costa Rica) is one of two players on the roster not from Missouri or Illinois. I don’t think she’s played yet this season.