ALUMNI NETWORKS

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Read shared memories below—and share yours using the link to the right.

Mary (Grace) Kettmann - 1984

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?
Joining the cross country team was one of the best decisions I made while at Santa Clara. While I had run on my own, I had never been part of team. I am so glad I decided to go to that first meeting. I met a group of women I would otherwise not have known and I became part of a little family at SC outside of my own world there. It taught me discipline and perseverance. I learned there was a drive in me that I never knew I had before. It was a LOT of fun too!! Not always during the races, but definitely before and after in our run down old van. I am so glad I had the courage to go that informational meeting alone .... it taught me to trust myself.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I still always kind of laugh when I think about the meeting I went to, to find out about the team. It was announced in the daily bulletin that came out... that probably doesn't happen anymore. I was extremely nervous and wondered if the coach would want to see us run or something. Instead he said come back on Wednesday if you want to be on the team. So I did! And to my surprise that was all it took. That probably doesn't happen today. But it was a team that had many members who had not been recruited and were not receiving any scholarship money. I think a few runners did have scholarships, but the majority of us were just out there because we loved to run. The team allowed me to turn something I loved to do on my own, into something I could do with Santa Clara on my shirt and be proud of being part of something else at SCU. It's a great memory that I will always have!

Mary (Grace) Kettmann - 1984

Mary (Hingston) Evans - 1988

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?

One of my favorite memories is the trip the women's soccer team took to Portland and Seattle my freshman year. We had a van and a couple cars and stayed at player's homes in each area. A lot of togetherness but great friendships made-a wonderful start to college! And, we had fun on the field, too!

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

Made me a team player with great time management skills

Lisa (Sacco) Swendsen - 1998

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?

The memories I have from my four years of playing Women's Basketball at Santa Clara University will always be near and dear to my heart. My amazing team was my family away from home. Together we got up early for training, practiced for hours to be the best we could be, bonded away from the court, and together ... we played as hard as we could in order to let SCU shine!

My favorite memory was winning the WCC Championship my senior year on our home court. When the buzzer went off, the stands emptied and we found ourselves buried by our teammates and our amazing fans. Shouts of "SCU, SCU, SCU," rang through the gym and it was in that moment that I knew all the hard work we'd put in had finally had paid off.

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

Playing at the Division 1 level in college has surely shaped me into the strong, capable woman I am today. While playing basketball at SCU and facing times where I was challenged beyond my limits, I learned that I truly can do anything I put my mind to. If I believe I can push harder, I will.

Playing at SCU also strengthened my ability to be a leader in society. Today, as a mother of four very busy kids, I apply so many of the lessons I learned playing college athletics to my parenting.

My experiences also showed me the importance of being a team player. There is a time to lead and there is a time to work as a group. I apply all of these important lessons to my every day life. I am so blessed to have had such an opportunity for personal growth when I was so young. I truly am the best version of myself today because of these lessons and the opportunity Santa Clara University gave to me.

Anything else you'd like to share?

A special thank you to each and every SCU female athlete who paved the way for me to be able to have had such an amazing four years on the court. I probably only understand a glimpse of the sacrifice, determination, perseverance, and heart that you must have shown in order for me to have had the opportunity to play basketball at Santa Clara University. I only hope that as generations of women continue to play sports at SCU, that we always find time to look back at the many strong women who fought for our right to play the sports we love. I am so proud to be a part of this incredible Bronco Family. Here's to 50 outstanding years of Women's Athletics at SCU!

Janet (Steiner) Benton - 1980

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?
I was at SCU during the transition years when TOSO Pavillion was being built (we had to practice and play our volleyball games at Santa Clara HS) and when Title Nine was getting its footing. I was fortunate in my 2nd year at SCU to be the beneficiary of the first Basketball Scholarship given by SCU along with Darby Teichgraber (Tennis) and Rosy (Jesswein) Bergin (Volleyball). I was able to participate in both Volleyball and Basketball which was supported by my coaches and is pretty rare in these modern times. I also had the pleasure of working in the athletic offices running intramurals with Terry Vain and interacting on a daily basis with Mary Grace Colby, Andy Locatelli, Pat Malley, Dick Davey, Carrol Williams, Kurt Rambis and Marie Pert (Bonino). Great people, great times and wonderful memories despite the fact that our women's sports struggled in those early years until soccer put the program on the map a few years later. Nevertheless, the days of the pre-scholarship, walk-on were wonderful because the athletes played for the love of the game without any strings attached and we had a great time whether we were winning or losing.
How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?
Sports mimic life in so many ways - they taught me so many things: time management, organization, discipline, teamwork, patience, assertiveness, competitiveness, how to win and lose gracefully, how to work through pain, nutrition, fitness, humility, dedication, loyalty among other things. These lessons were applied after graduation when I went to graduate school at SCU while continuing to play the beach volleyball circuit and working full time. Then they helped shape the way I raised my four children - 2 boys who played baseball through college and 2 daughters who play volleyball in college and high school. Having been an athlete has helped me in every facet of my life but most importantly has helped me relate to my kids as they experience many of the same challenges that I did juggling the school, sports, work, family hats. I doubt there are many other outlets that teach the breathe of critical characteristics and life lessons that sports do.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I believe that SCU owes a debt of gratitude to people like Pat Malley, MaryGrace Colby, Dick Davey and Carol Williams. They were the pioneers of SCU athletics and their sacrifices and caring for their athletes laid the foundation for the prosperity that the program has experienced and achieved since those early years. SCU was their life and the many years that they dedicated to building the buildings and the programs cannot be underestimated. It wasn't scholarships or beautiful facilities that made it great in those days - it was the wonderful support received from the genuine and caring administrators and coaches that got to know you, that paid attention and that actually wanted to be part of your life. With technology, scholarships, marketing and all of the big business of sports these days, I am afraid that some of those wonderful experiences are lost and that athletes today will never understand the true value of integrating the passion for your sport with fun and the nurturing of wonderful relationships.

Ashley Armstrong - 2013

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?

One of my most distinctive memories at Santa Clara is filming “The Dorm” (a spoof of the Office) with my teammates during summer training.

Margi Beima - 1985

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

The impact that Santa Clara athletics had on me is immeasurable. I serve as the head volleyball coach at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco, and I try to instill in our players the same characteristics that were instilled in my during my SCU volleyball days: integrity, commitment, hard work, determination, concern for teammates, and gratitude, among others. I learned so much through the ups and downs with my teammates, through our success and failure, and I had a blast through it all.

Denise Flaherty - 1973

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?
I was a member of the first women's swim team-started in the fall of 1969. We qualified for/went to the NCAA nationals in 1970 and 1971. I didn't realize then that what we accomplished was truly amazing.
How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?
It taught me discipline, hard work and the joy of physical accomplishment. I learned to balance this with the other facets of my life that also held great importance to me. My fellow (fella) teammates were also wonderful friends, guides and participants in this experience-laughter, support, perspective. I still so love a glide through the water as part of my day. A friend who is a photographer asked me what I see when I swim. My reply---It is what I feel-the water moving over my skin, the lightness, the sheer delight!
Anything else you'd like to share?
I so appreciate the vision of our coach, Bill Radley, and Mary Grace to get us the support to make our team happen.

Kathy Kale - 1986

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?

I have so many memories of playing soccer for SCU. Double-days, road trips in the Red Van, Rookie Olympics, late dinners in Benson, the Cooper Test, pink uniforms, dance parties, and the warm up tape. But my favorite memory of all time was Rookie Revenge, our last game of the Fall 1984 season, when the freshman retaliated for their Rookie Orientation earlier in the year. I can't go into details, but I will say it was a night I'll never forget.

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

My SCU athletic experience taught me the value of the individual as well as the team, the importance of independence and dependence, and the necessity of leading and following. It also taught me how to strive, endure, mourn, and celebrate. These skills (and many more) shape me everyday of my personal and professional life, and I'm very grateful to Santa Clara for helping make me the person I am today.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I feel so blessed to have represented Santa Clare University on the soccer field. I'm grateful to all the coaches, teammates, and friends that made my four years on the Mission campus some of the most important and cherished of my life.

Karen Keebler Smith - 1985

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

As mother's with children, we know that our playing days don't last forever.

To the current coaches, thanks for continuing to update us and encouraging us to be with you as many times throughout the years as we can. When we can't be there, KNOW we wear Bronco Spirit on our sleeves and root from afar.

To the current players,

  • We love to see you play.
  • We welcome calls about roadtrips, needed funding and support, etc. BRING IT ON.
  • Absorb, relish, enjoy, and make memories that you can never reproduce later.
  • Every person plays a part in the legacy, from the 1980 alums to the current players

WE all matter.

Olivia Klei - 2013

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?

I would say one of the distinctive memories I have of athletics at Santa Clara is being blessed to play for the Women's Soccer Team. One memory is from my freshman year—beating Notre Dame in one of the first games in front of a huge crowd at night. We killed it that night!

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

I think participating in college athletics gave me the discipline and knowledge to understand what it takes to be the best. I think it helped me balance my life on and off the field. There wasn’t any time to react; you were anticipating every aspect of your life.

Anything else you'd like to share?

GO SCU :)

Briana Knight - 2012

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?

My favorite memory during my time at Santa Clara would have to be on the LMU softball field. It was the second game on Sunday and we were losing 1-2 in the four game series. We were exhausted from the weekend and this long game of trying to come from behind, but we were finally in the top of the eighth inning. A few base hits, a home run and two opponent errors put us in a situation with two runners on and me back at the plate for round 2.

After an intense battle with the relief pitcher who came in after my first home run, I had a full count and heard nothing but silence. I was thrown a low and inside pitch (my absolute fave) and wacked it high over the left field fence. Not only was this my second home run of the inning, it also put us in the lead by one run! I ran around the bases with my arms out as though I had wings, screaming at the top of my lungs. I really felt like I was flying and the only person that I saw in the rowdy crowd as I rounded second was my dad with his fists held high. It was a feeling so great, that to this day, I get chills and tears in my eyes every time it crosses my mind.

When I stomped on the plate and my team surrounded me, I could barely breath. By the time I got to the dugout and we had all calmed down a bit, I really had to focus on my breathing because my heart wanted to jump out of my chest. :) Adrenaline, excitement and celebration all at once were certainly a lot to handle. Once the inning came to a close, we only needed 3 outs to win the game and split the series with our so-cal rivals. Fortunately, three easy fly balls to right field were all caught with ease and our wildest dream came true! Many fans, opposing players and even the LMU coach approached me after the game to say congrats. Although it was a big moment for me as a hitter, I was so proud of my team for never giving up. That's how you do work on your opponent's field!

This memory will stay with me forever and always remind me of my true love for the game. Go Broncos!!!

Karen Medved - 1985

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

After almost 30 years away from playing soccer at SCU, I recently signed on as an assistant coach of a GU11 team. Not sure how this happened after all these decades, but I am having a BLAST working with these young girls-introducing them to role models and possibilities that old bags like me could not even fathom at their age.

Occasionally someone will ask me where I got my soccer experience. When I say "Santa Clara" to those who know the game, I usually get a raised eyebrow or double take. It's kind of like an instant credibility and respect. I'm not sure I deserve it at this point, but I have all of you current Broncos to thank for the privilege of this association. It wouldn't mean anything if all of you didn't work incredibly hard as student athletes at Santa Clara, contributing to the legacy that started back in the 1980s before some of you were born.

You youngsters might get tired of hearing this, but each of you, in your own unique way, has done us all proud as a group. Thank you for your continued commitment to excellence and sportsmanship. It's an honor to be associated with you.

Michelle Premo-Walsh - 1987

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?

My senior year was a time in my life that I'll always cherish. Anne Mauren and I were the only two that made it through 4 years on the team. We wore senior bracelets throughout the season as a reminder of 4 years of great memories. That year we had a really terrific incoming freshman class. The team personalities blended so well. From rookie olympics to our senior farewell at the Hut, not a week went by during the season without a story to be laughed about for years to come. And who could forget our soccer anthem:

"Here's to the men that we love..."

Good times. And I have to add this favorite memory:

I had the chance recently to listen to an Oregon team playing in Santa Cruz. They were exhausted and complaining; instead of a local hotel they had to stay at the Hyatt in downtown San Jose. Because of traffic they had to leave 2 hours early to make sure they got to the field on time. So I couldn't help but share this story with them:

My freshman year we were heading down to Westmont College to play in a tournament. We had no budget so we piled into the team van Friday after class and drove to Santa Barbara. The coaches dropped us off at the school around 10:00 that night to find a spot to sleep. One of our players had a friend that was a Westmont student. They opened a classroom for us and we decided to sleep on the floor. After drawing on the boards and telling stories late into the night, we all dozed off only to be awakened at 6:45 by the morning Bible study class, who didn't find our artwork very funny. We got kicked out and headed out to the soccer field to catch an extra hour of sleep before the game. The game wasn't too pretty but it was a win and the weekend came with some really great memories! Imagine showing up at a field today to find your competition asleep in sleeping bags right on the field! Maybe that Hyatt stay wasn't so bad after all.

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

There are clear skills one must master in order to balance college athletics, academics, and social life. The work ethic I developed has paid dividends over the course of my life. I survived my years as a working mom by knowing how to prioritize, plan, and persevere no matter how difficult things become. I also learned how to lean on teammates to help me through the more difficult times in my life and I still look to develop "teammate" like relationships in all that I do. Most importantly, I learned from my teammates the art of enjoying all that life throws your way. Laughter feeds your sole!

Anything else you'd like to share?

I'm grateful for the opportunity to have played soccer at Santa Clara. So little was offered and yet we were honored to have the opportunity to compete for Santa Clara, strictly because we loved the game and our school. I wish for today's incoming athletes that they continue to work towards enjoying the whole college experience and not limit their experiences to the sport at hand. Playing a college sport doesn't have to be a job, The team is bigger than the individual. And you only get to head down this path once. Stay balanced, take the time to explore all that Santa Clara has to offer, and make the most out of the time you're here. The memories you have from your college years should always bring a smile to your face! Don't be afraid to break outside of your team box and you'll discover memories that will last a lifetime!

Alyssa Shoji - 2012

What is one (or more) of the distinctive memories you have of athletics at Santa Clara?

When I think back to my basketball career, I distinctively remember playoffs my sophomore year. The excitement and energy that our team had going to the New Orleans Arena in Las Vegas was amazing. Having come off an up-and-down regular season, we put that behind us and made a run for it at the conference tournament. Upsetting San Diego in the first round by two points was amazing and I will never forget that win. We then moved on to the second round and beat Portland. Though the streak ended against Gonzaga, I wil never forget the run we made and the fun we had doing it! We really gave it everything we had and played for each other. I was proud to be a Bronco!

How did participation in college athletics help shape your life today?

I think more then anything, playing a college sport taught me discipline and mental toughness. Trying to balance practice, games, and travel with school work was tough at the time, but I think I developed excellent time management skills that help me with the work I do today.

Anything else you'd like to share?

The four years in college go by fast, so if I can say one thing to the current Broncos, it would be to enjoy every second of it! Being a part of Santa Clara University is truly an amazing experience, and if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Go Broncos!

Do you have a story, memory, or photograph to share? Click below and add to the collection. We'll post them by Grand Reunion.

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