October 11, 2003

Men's Water Polo Goes Undefeated at Convergence Tournament

Oct. 11, 2003

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's water polo team went undefeated at the 11th annual Convergence Tournament with two wins in today's action. The Broncos upset 15th-ranked BYU-Hawaii 9-7 in double overtime, and then followed with a 10-5 victory over Division III eighth-ranked Pomona-Pitzer.

The Tournament is co-hosted by Claremont and Pomona, with the Broncos' matches being played at PP's Haldeman Pool. Combined with the Broncos' 12-6 victory Chaminade and 10-4 win over Whittier in Friday's action, Santa Clara went 4-0 at the event, improving their team record to 13-8.

The win over the Seasiders marked the second for the Broncos this season, after a 9-3 victory on Sept. 26 at the Slugfest Invitational, when BYU-Hawaii was ranked 17th.

"I was really fired up after our win; it was a good victory for our team," head coach Keith Wilbur said after the Broncos' upset victory. "It's the best our team has played all year. BYU-Hawaii is a good team and they were definitely ready for us. To beat a ranked team twice in a season is a great accomplishment."

Down 4-2 after the first period, the score remained the same through halftime. The Broncos knotted the match at 4-4 after the third frame, and with Kenny Flanagan-De La Hoz' score with one minute remaining in regulation, the match was tied again, this time at 6-6.

Jon Greco scored the Broncos' only goal of the first overtime, while Flanagan-De La Hoz' outscored BYU-Hawaii with two goals in the second overtime for the victory.

"Kenny had clutch goals at the end but it was a team effort the whole match," Wilbur added.

The head coach highlighted freshman Kevin Starry's defensive efforts in guarding the Seasiders' best player, the whole set.

"Defense was key for us and Kevin's been playing hard for us all season, but to step up and guard one of the best players in college water polo right now... well, he did a really good job at limiting his offense."

Flanagan De-La Hoz finished with three goals, as did Daniel Figoni. Logan Gee posted two and Greco finished with one. Goalkeeper Peter Moore grabbed 13 saves.

The Broncos followed that win with a 10-5 victory over host Pomona-Pitzer.

Flanagan De-La Hoz added three more goals to his day's total, while Figoni and Starry added two each. Sho Yamazaki, Grant Allison and Greco registered one tally each.

"I was happy for our team to earn another victory after an emotional win earlier today," Wilber commented. "They played solidly all four quarters. I'm really happy with our performance this weekend.

Santa Clara returns to the Bay Area and will host an alumni game on Sunday at the Leavey Pool at 1 p.m.