Santa Clara squad makes a splash in Stockton invitational
THE SANTA CLARA
September 25, 2014
The men’s water polo team traveled to Stockton, Calif. for the Kap7 NorCal Classic Tournament and split their four games, going 2-2.
Bronco Head Coach Keith Wilbur knew the importance of coming into this tournament prepared.
“We go to this tournament to compete, and also to get better from playing very good competition,” he said.
He went on to add that this tournament was highly anticipated because it “includes most of the top teams in the nation.”
Although the Broncos suffered losses against their first two opponents, University of California, Berkeley and Pepperdine University, on Saturday, Wilbur’s sentiments proved true. The team rallied to win their next two games on Sunday against the University of Redlands and Pomona Pitzer College teams, refining their focus on different aspects of the game.
In their first game on Saturday, the No. 14 ranked Broncos took on the No. 4 California Golden Bears. By the end of the first quarter, Santa Clara managed to maintain a small goal margin, trailing the Bears only 4-3.
As the game progressed, however, Cal began to pull away with their aggressive offense while their defense kept the Broncos to four goals for all four quarters.
Later that afternoon, the Santa Clara squad took on their second opponent of the day, the No. 13 ranked Pepperdine Waves. The Broncos kept the goal margin tight in a much closer match, even though the first quarter was fairly high scoring at 5-4.
After that, both teams stepped up their defense, with the final score being only 12-10 in Pepperdine’s favor after the next three quarters.
On Sunday, the Broncos took on the unranked Redlands Bulldogs in the first match where Santa Clara was favored to win.
The Broncos lived up to expectations with a 9-4 victory. Displaying a much more defense-oriented Santa Clara team, they allowed their lowest number of goals of the tournament so far. They would go on to allow fewer in their next game.
Coach Wilbur felt this renewed effort was the “key” to the team’s success in the second half of the tournament. Davis put up three goals once more, and McClone put up two. Grant, Guibord, redshirt senior Matt Kochalko and junior Evan Chang each added a goal of their own.
Fresh off their win, the Broncos carried their momentum into their last game of the tournament against the unranked Pomona Pitzer Sagehens.
Keeping their focus on strong defensive play, the Broncos limited the Sagehens to only three goals. The Broncos earned their second victory of the weekend and improved the team’s overall record to 5-4 with a final score of 12-3.
The goals were evenly spread among the Broncos with Guibord and freshman Richard Daly leading the offense with two goals each.
The Broncos have their sights and goals set toward the postseason. The Santa Clara squad faces their next stint of games in the Aggie Shootout in Davis, Calif. and includes opponents such as California Lutheran University, Whittier College and Chapman University beginning on Sept. 26.
Contact Alli Kleppe at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.