Nov. 10, 2005
Santa Clara, Calif. - After completing a regular season sweep of Western Water Polo Association rival UC Santa Cruz last weekend, the Santa Clara men's water polo team looks to gain momentum for the WWPA championships by earning a second victory over No. 9 Pacific on Saturday. The match-up between the Broncos and the Tigers is set to begin at 3 p.m. in Stockton.
Santa Clara has faced Pacific on two occasions so far this season, earning a close 9-8 victory over the Tigers in late September and dropping an 8-4 decision to their opponent at the NorCal Tournament in mid-October. In the first match, freshman Jack Wall put the ball in the back of the net with three seconds remaining to secure the record-setting victory for the Broncos. The win marked head coach Keith Wilbur's first victory over a Top-10 opponent with the Santa Clara program. In their second meeting, the Tigers come out on top, despite a pair of goals from senior Grant Allison and strong performances by Wall and goalkeeper Mike Petersen.
Santa Clara will be led by Wall, who has notched at least one goal in each of the last four matches. The steady performance of Petersen, who notched nine blocks on Saturday, will continue to anchor the Broncos on defense.
The Broncos enter the match with a 14-13 overall record and three wins over ranked opponents. The Tigers (15-9) enter the match on a five-game winning streak, including victories over No. 18 Air Force and No. 14 UC Santa Barbara.
"This will be our third game with UOP this year. They are a really good team, and they are especially fast on the counter," said Wilbur. "The last time we played them, we allowed a couple of easy counter goals, and that was the difference in the game. If we can improve our counter defense, we will give ourselves a much better chance of winning."
The match with the Tigers on Saturday marks the end of the regular season for the Broncos. The WWPA Championships will take place November 17-19 in Los Angeles.