Jan. 9, 2004
The Santa Clara University men's water polo team recently completed its season, posting a 17-13 record. Under second-year head coach Keith Wilbur, the Broncos tied the 1998 squad for most victories in a single season and posted the program's second winning mark. A few other season highlights:
Santa Clara earned the program's first national ranking of the season in mid-October, when the Collegiate Water Polo Association listed the Broncos 17th. It marked the first ranking for the Bronco program since 1999, when the team was listed 20th. Santa Clara remained in the poll in each of the following eight weeks and was ranked 19th in the final listing.
"I hope that this accomplishment will help to get more high school water polo players to consider Santa Clara University as a place to play collegiate water polo," Keith Wilbur said. "I have received a lot of feedback from proud Santa Clara water polo alums and supporters who are very excited with the direction the program is moving, and we want to get that word out to the rest of the water polo community."
Santa Clara faced another full season of playing the best in the country, facing 27 nationally-ranked foes in 30 total matches. Major wins to highlight include two over No. 16 BYU Hawaii and a season-ending victory against No. 17 UC Davis at home.
Senior Daniel Figoni was named to the All-Western Water Polo Association second team. A team captain, he started all 30 contests for the Broncos and led the team with 75 goals. Figoni's 24 assists were second on the team, and he also recorded 26 steals. Figoni had 22 multi-goal matches, and netted at least four goals on nine occasions. He posted a season-high eight goals against Brown at the Davis Shootout, and capped his senior career with a six-goal outing at home against 18th-ranked UC Davis.
Junior Kenny Flanagan-De La Hoz also had an outstanding season, leading the team with 71 kick outs drawn. The team captain also had 57 steals and 56 goals, both marks second best on the squad. Junior goalkeeper Peter Moore had another excellent year, protecting the Bronco net across all 30 contests, and averaging 9.9 saves per game while only allowing an average 7.21 goals per game. Freshman Kevin Starry started every contest this year, and played remarkable defense as the team's primary two-meter defender. He led the team in two categories, posting 65 steals and 28 assists.
Depth played a major factor in the Broncos' success this season. With 21 student-athletes on the roster, Wilbur was able to experiment with his lineups while granting valuable playing experience to a group of eight newcomers. Santa Clara will lose the services of graduating seniors Daniel Figoni, Logan Gee and Floyd Tucker, but will see next year's senior class of five step up as leaders: Kenny Flanagan-De La Hoz, Peter Moore, Mark Perlite, Mark Oda and Matt Sanchez.