The No. 13 Santa Clara men's water polo team suffered an 11-9 loss to No. 18 Princeton today in the program's first-ever nationally televised game on ESPNU. It was a cruel reversal of roles for the Broncos, who last year upset the Tigers at the Princeton Invitational for their first big win of the 2009 season.
Santa Clara took an early lead, with senior Stephen Hobbs scoring on his team's first posession of the game. Soon after the Broncos found themselves up 2-0 after 90 seconds. Princeton tied it up not long after and the two teams then began trading goals over the course of the game, with neither team earning more than a two-goal lead.
After a halftime score of 6-6, the game remained neck-and-neck until late in the third quarter when the Tigers pulled away with two late goals to make it 10-8. Midway into the fourth quarter, Princeton extended that lead to three goals. Santa Clara was able to get back one goal, but couldn't overcome the home side in front of its ruckus crowd at DeNunzio Pool.
Despite the loss, the Bronco defense was excellent while on the penalty kill, stopping eight Tiger man-up situations. Santa Clara converted on three of their nine power plays. Mitch Klipa led the team in scoring with three goals.
|Princeton||2 4 4 1 - 11|
|Santa Clara||3 3 2 1 - 8|
Princeton Goals: Wenzlau 5, Donahue 3, Cottrell 1, Helou 1,
Princeton Saves: Merlone 10.
Santa Clara Goals: Klipa 3, Akerland 2, Case 2, Carlson 1, Hobbs 1.
Santa Clara Saves: Wishart 6