January 6, 2003

Men's Water Polo Ends First Year under New Head Coach Wilbur

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The Santa Clara University men's water polo team recently completed its season, posting a 10-26 record. Under first-year head coach Keith Wilbur, the Broncos matched last year's win total as the most in three years. A few season highlights:

The Broncos were unbeatable in overtime contests this season, with a perfect 4-0 mark. The Broncos defeated Whittier 8-7 in four overtimes on September 14--due in part to a Mark Oda steal and a Mike Vancura score-- and followed the next afternoon with a 10-9 victory in three overtimes over Pomona-Pitzer, thanks to J.P. Doucette's game-winner. Two weekends later, on September 29, Santa Clara was again taken to four extra periods, and topped Claremont 4-3 on Mark Perlite's golden goal. The Broncos also posted a 5-4 double-overtime victory over Chapman on October 12 with Nick Takahashi's third goal of the contest. "Our guys really know how to put it together and win in overtime," head coach Keith Wilbur said after the last OT win. "They have so much heart and composure when the game's on the line."

Santa Clara faced another season of ranked opponents, facing 28 nationally-ranked foes in 36 total matches on the 2002 schedule. The Broncos faced 12 ranked teams from Division I, 15 from Division III, and one from the collegiate club level. Although the Broncos went 8-20 against this competition, head coach Keith Wilbur said although it equals many tough losses, "it gives our team the tough competition we need to be successful later in the season and in years to come."

Sophomore goalkeeper Peter Moore protected the Bronco net in every minute of action across 36 contests. Moore registered 366 saves and finished the year with a 9.95 goals-against average. One of his top performances of the season includes a 15-save, five-steal afternoon in a double overtime victory over Chapman at the Convergence Tournament. Next season, he'll compete against redshirt junior Floyd Tucker and 2001 starter Gareth Owens, who spent this past season studying abroad.

The Broncos did not have one senior on the roster this season, so all 14 roster members will have a chance to return in2003 with an entire year of experience under their belts. Next year's team will be led by seniors Logan Gee and J.P. Doucette. The team will also return three members who spent the 2002 season studying abroad in Kenny Flanagan, Gareth Owens and Dan Figoni.

Despite not playing the last 16 games of the season, sophomore Nick Takahashi led the Broncos with 43 goals this season. He registered 11 multi-goal contests, including two contests in which he registered five goals: and 8-5 win over Chapman and an 11-13 loss to UC Santa Cruz.