Nov. 15, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Senior Daniel Figoni scored six goals in his final collegiate contest as he led the 19th-ranked Santa Clara University men's water polo team to a 12-10 victory over 18th-ranked UC Davis this afternoon at the Leavey Pool. It marked the final match of the 2003 season for the Broncos, who finish with a 17-13 record.
"Our team was really motivated for this game, as they were for yesterday's," head coach Keith Wilbur said. "The crowd was a huge factor in our inspired play. They were large in number and loud. Add the rivalry between our schools, and the fact that we are close in conference and national rankings... well, it wasn't too hard to get psyched up for today."
Figoni scored on the team's first possession, but his score was countered by the Aggies' David Welch. Figoni and Welch each scored again to make it a 2-2 game after the first quarter.
The physical-ness of the game peaked in the second quarter, and the teams shared 20 ejections through the entire match. Tom Jay scored for UC Davis for the 3-2 lead before the Broncos charged ahead for the rest of the frame. Whit Gilfillan tied the game at three all with his score, off a Figoni pass. Kenny Flanagan-De La Hoz then stole the ball and scored on a breakaway for the 4-3 lead. Patrick Jacobson and Welch scored for UCD to take a 5-4 lead, but Flanagan-De La Hoz and Figoni added Bronco goals to give SCU a 6-5 halftime advantage.
In the third quarter, Kevin Starry and Figoni scored early on to extend the lead to 8-5, forcing UC Davis head coach Steve Doten to call a time out. Gilfillan scored again, between to Aggie goals, by Brian Hodgens and Jay. Sho Yamazaki scored for Santa Clara with just 1:28 remaining in the period to give The Broncos a 10-8 lead heading into the final quarter.
Figoni scored on a four meter and then stole the ball before scoring his final goal to make the game 12-8 Broncos. George Dingeldein scored twice for the Aggies' final two goals.
Peter Moore led the defense, stopping numerous power plays and point-blank attacks.
"I'm really proud at how we played as a team; whether a player was on the bench or in the pool, we were really one unit out there," Wilbur concluded. "We've made huge strides as a team since the start of the season and I'm really proud in the way we finished it together."