Oct. 1, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 11 Santa Clara men's water polo team travels to southern California this weekend to play in the Claremont Convergence tournament on Friday and Saturday, and returns home Sunday to face second-ranked UCLA at the Sullivan Aquatic Center.
The Broncos (10-3) are having one of their best seasons ever, having reached the program's highest ever national ranking of No. 10, but suffered a setback this past Sunday in their own tournament after dropping a heartbreaker to WWPA rival UC Davis 8-7 in the final moments of the game.
Santa Clara is led by senior All-American Jack Wall, who became the Broncos all-time leading scorer this past Saturday with his third goal against Cal Lutheran, surpassing Paul Navabpour's (1989-91) record of 218. Wall now has 227 total goals heading into the final stretch of his collegiate career.
Junior Nick Poggetti and senior Liam Farrell also have contributed to the offense, with Poggetti finding the net 22 times and Farrell 21. Sophomore goalie Michael Wishart has started all 13 games and has 104 blocks, 14 steals, and 10 assists.
At the Convergence, Santa Clara will play La Verne at 12:40 p.m. and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 4:40 p.m. on Friday. Saturday, the Broncos face Fresno Pacific at 9 a.m. and Pomona-Pitzer at 1 p.m.
Fresno Pacific (8-4) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6-6) are the strongest teams Santa Clara will face, while La Verne (1-10) and Pomona-Pitzer (4-10) have struggled this season, although both CMS and PP have defeated Fresno Pacific this year.
Sunday's match against the No. 2 Bruins (9-1) at 11 a.m. will be the first in a series of three games against some of the top teams in the nation. Following the clash with UCLA, Santa Clara will test themselves against Stanford on October 17 at the Avery Aquatic Center stadium pool and California on Oct. 18 in Berkeley.
Josh Samuels is the Bruins leading scorer with 17 goals, but four others are also in double-digits. In the cage, Chay Lapin carries a 2.80 goals-against-average having only surrendered 28 goals. The Bruins last faced Santa Clara on Sept. 30, 2007, earning a 17-5 victory in a non-conference match at UC Santa Cruz.