SCU Finishes SoCal Tourny Strong; Upsets No. 9 Pepperdine

The No. 14 Santa Clara men's water polo team ended the SoCal Tourny on a high note, nearly upsetting conference rival LMU and upsetting No. 9 Pepperdine.  The Broncos fell to the Lions, 5-4, and bested the Waves, 12-10, to take 11th place.

Against LMU, Santa Clara found itself in an early two-goal hole in the first quarter, but bounced back to bring the score within one at half as the Lions led 3-2.  The Broncos tied it in the third and held LMU scoreless, setting up an exciting finish to the game.

Near the end, the game was tied 4-4, but a power-play goal by the Lions' Tibor Forai to make it 5-4 held up as the game-winner.

Santa Clara had four different goalscorers; seniors Mitch Klipa and Nick Poggetti, junior James Case, and freshman Kyle Nadel.  Junior goalie Michael Wishart made eight saves.

The game is the second this year that the Broncos have kept pace with the annual WWPA-favorite Lions. 

In the afternoon game, Santa Clara took advantage of a Pepperdine team that was reeling from an earlier upset, having fallen to the lower-ranked UC San Diego, 8-7, in the morning.

The Broncos were knotted with the Waves at the end of the first quarter, but a huge offensive effort in the second quarter resulted in six goals for the Broncos and an 8-4 lead at halftime.  Pepperdine chipped one off Santa Clara's lead in the third and another in the fourth, but the Broncos withheld a late rally by the Waves to secure the victory.

Santa Clara had four players score twice, including Case, Nadel, freshman Tucker Carlson, and junior Brett Zylstra.  Also adding goals was senior Stephen Hobbs, junior Daley Meistrell, Klipa, and Poggetti.  Wishart saved 12 shots. 

The Broncos, now 9-8, will return to southern California next weekend for the Claremont Convergence.