Broncos go 3-1 in the annual Rodeo Tournament
THE SANTA CLARA
October 29, 2015
The Broncos hosted the annual Rodeo tournament this past weekend, and came out with three solid wins and one loss against Brown, St. Francis (N.Y.), Bucknell and Harvard, respectively.
“As a team, our expectations were to win every game this weekend,” said redshirt junior Will Grant. “We knew we were going to play four very tough teams, but we as a team had confidence in our ability and we believed that we could win them all. Unfortunately, we lost one game to Harvard, but overall still a very productive weekend for our team.”
Friday afternoon, Santa Clara first matched up with No. 10 Brown, winning in overtime 13-11. Each half ended with the teams tied – the first ending 6-6 and the second 11-11.
In the first overtime period, the Broncos came out with strong defense, and delivered on offense. Owen Asalone scored to put the Broncos ahead.
The second OT was much like the first: Santa Clara kept Brown scoreless and secured the win when Graham McClone scored an insurance goal to make it 13-11.
On Saturday, Santa Clara took a turn for the worse, losing to No. 19 Harvard 7-2. Harvard was on top of Santa Clara offensively and pressed hard on defense.
Having played a game on both Thursday and Friday, the Broncos appeared less sharp than the Crimson.
Goalkeeper Joe Maestri came up big with eight saves, and kept Harvard scoreless in the third quarter.
Unfortunately, Santa Clara’s offense wasn’t enough to get back at Harvard.
Santa Clara, though, proceeded to win their last two games against St. Francis and Bucknell.
Both matches came down to the wire, Santa Clara coming out on top 12-9 and 12-8 respectively.
“I would say that our strengths in those games was our defense,” Grant said. “We played shut down defense and that led into our offense.”
The St. Francis game was an exciting one. Santa Clara trailed the Terriers by a margin of three goals at the end of the first half, down 3-6.
After a halftime break to collect and strategize, the Broncos came out battering the Terriers with shots and stayed strong on defense.
With goals by four key players in the third quarter – Julian Fraser, Graham McClone, John Rainieri and Will Grant – the Broncos sped ahead of St. Francis 8-7.
The Broncos fed on the momentum of the previous quarter and scored four more goals against their opponents’ two, locking up the 12-9 win in the fourth quarter.
“Our resilience and effort were huge in (the last two games),” Grant said. “Both games were one goal games going into the last quarter, and we had enough energy and determination to put those games away and come away with a win.”
The final game was another win, ending 12-8 against Bucknell (No. 13). The Bison are a tough east coast squad, ranked fourth among teams in the region. But the Broncos rode the wave from their big win the night before, coming out on top in the matchup.
While on defense, Santa Clara pressured Bucknell’s attack hard, helping redshirt junior goalkeeper Troy Nadel come up with 8 big saves. On offense, Will Grant and Graham McClone each had four goals throughout the game.
Like the previous matchup, the teams were nearly tied up and there wasn’t a clear winner at the end of the third quarter.
Santa Clara took control in the fourth quarter, scoring five goals to send Bucknell home with a loss.
“I was very proud of our team after the tournament. As a senior on the team, it is great to see so many people contribute and help our team grow and develop,” Grant said. “I think our team has a lot of potential, and I am excited for the last stretch of our season.”
Next weekend, Santa Clara heads south to play University of California San Diego and Loyola Marymount. The Broncos only have a few weeks left until playoffs, where they may be a top contender.
“This tournament was a great springboard into our conference play,” Grant said. “We as a team will use this weekend as motivation moving forward.”
Contact Jack Price at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.