A high school All-American who stands 6'2" and weighs in at 190 el-bees, Steve Cronin is literally and figuratively a Big Man on Campus at Santa Clara University. Cronin, currently finishing his freshman year at Santa Clara, was the back-up goalkeeper on the Under-17 MNT that advanced to the semifinals of the 1999 Under-17 World Championship, and he is currently a member of the U.S. Under-20 MNT that later this year will try to qualify for the USA's fourth straight World Youth Championship.
At Santa Clara as a freshman, Cronin posted a 0.79 Goals Against Average in 10 matches and also doubled as a striker and scored one of the Broncos’ biggest goals of the year, recording the game winner in the final minute of a 2-1 win over defending conference champion the University of San Diego.
I absolutely love Santa Clara. As far as being at a college, I have no doubt that this is the best one for me. We don't have a football team here, so soccer is a pretty big sport. Along with basketball, we are probably the other biggest sport on campus. Basketball naturally gets a lot of hype because it is a more traditional, American sport.
Because soccer is known around the campus, the soccer players are also pretty well-known. It's kind of fun being known around the campus. During the season when you are walking around school everyone knows who you are. Because I hang out with a lot of the soccer players, people always refer to us as the "soccer guys." Everywhere you go there is a lot of attention, and it is kind of fun being known, but there are also some bad things that go along with it. We have some stereotypes that come go along with us – but most of them aren't true.
Santa Clara is a pretty small school – somewhere around 4,300 people - and if you break it up by four classes that is barely over 1,000 per class. That can be both good and bad. It's nice to know someone everywhere you go… but there are also times when you want to be somewhere where you don't know a soul.
A lot of people compare it to a really big high school. I went to Bella Vista High School (just outside of Sacramento, Calif.), and we had something like 2,000 people, so this is just like a much bigger high school.
I had a great time this season. I don't know if I've ever laughed as hard as I did when we were in South Beach after a tournament hosted by Florida International University. We played FIU and lost 1-0, but then beat James Madison in the final game. On our final day there, we had some time before we had to go to the airport, so we went down to South Beach. We got bored pretty quick, so a bunch of us went down on to the beach.
If you've never been to South Beach, it is a very odd place. A lot of freaks and "different people" running around. And unfortunately a lot of them are running around in Speedos. I don't know why, but Speedos were real big on this beach.
So we were all on the beach and we came up with a great idea. One of the other goalkeepers on the team is a real crazy guy, so we each paid him a dollar to go run with two guys – who were of course wearing Speedos - who were running on the beach. So he takes his shirt off and goes and runs along the beach with these two guys in Speedos.
Now this guy looks like he is in pain every time he runs. So seeing him run with his shirt off along the beach was pretty comical, but then to see him run right in between these two guys in Speedos was hilarious. So the three of them are running down the beach together, and we are all just laughing our heads off. Without a doubt it was one of the funniest
things I've ever seen in my life.
From what he told us when he got back, he had asked them, "Do you guys know where I could find a little action, some music, some dancing… you know what I mean?" They pointed him to a little strip down off the beach and told him that was the part of town he was looking for – if he knew what they meant. It was too funny. One of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life.
But back to Santa Clara. I love it. I haven't been here a year yet, but I already have some great memories. Right now I couldn't be happier.
Table of Contents
1) Armchair Midfielder (The U.S. World Cup Roster)
2) Word Association (w/ WNT midfielder Kristine Lilly)
3) Desert Island Discs (w/ U-19 WNT midfielder Jessica Ballweg)
4) Queries and Anecdotes (w/ MNT defender Frankie Hejduk)
5) Big Man on Campus (w/ U-20 MNT goalkeeper Steve Cronin)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ MNT forward Clint Mathis)
7) Mark That Calendar ("Nike Road to Korea" -- May 12, 16 & 19)
8) "You Don't Know Jack (Marshall)" (WUSA trivia)
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