November 2, 2010

Broncos Enter Big Weekend

The No. 11 Santa Clara men's water polo team (17-10 overall, 7-5 WWPA) enters a big week where it will play two tough games. Fri., Nov. 5, the Broncos will travel to Stockton, Calif. to play the No. 7 Pacific Tigers (12-8 overall, 1-3 MPSF) at 3 p.m. They will then return home Saturday to host WWPA conference foe No. 9 Loyola Marymount (12-7 overall, 10-1 WWPA) at 1 p.m. in the Sullivan Aquatic Center.

This weekend will be a difficult test for the Broncos, as they are in the midst of the toughest part of their schedule. Including last weekend's 17-6 lost to No. 4 Stanford, four out of their five last games will come against top-10 opponents. Santa Clara's trip to Stockton will be it's final road game of the season.
 
The Broncos haven't played the Tigers since Sep. 21, 2008 when Pacific beat Santa Clara 7-5 in Stockton. Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara have already met twice this season, meeting each other in the Socal and Norcal tournaments. Loyola Marymount prevailed twice, winning 8-6 at the Norcals and 5-4 at Socals.
 
The Broncos continue to be led by junior James Case's 51 goals. Senior Stephen Hobbs has been having a breakout season for the Broncos, already setting career highs with 32 goals and 38 earned ejections. Nick Poggetti is third on the team with 31 goals.  With Daley Meistrell's assist versus Stanford, Meistrell now sits 1 assist shy of former teammate Jack Wall's single season assist record. Along with Mitch Klipa and Michael Wishart, Meistrell has been a key anchor to the Broncos defense. Meistrell leads the team with 32 steals, closely followed by Klipa's 30. Michael Wishart has racked up 238 blocks on the season while allowing only 196 goals.
 
The Tigers are coming off to tough losses in MPSF action. Last Saturday they lost to No. 2 USC 9-8 in Los Angeles, and Sunday lost at No. 5 UC Irvine 12-9. Pacific are led by their youth, 2009 MPSF newcomer of the year sophomore Goran Tomasevic and Hungarian Senior National Team member, freshman Balazs Erdelyi. Tomasevic and Erdelyi have racked up 41 and 39 goals respectably.  Freshman goalkeeper Alex Malkis has been huge all season for the Tigers, tallying 148 saves on the season.
 
Last Saturday the Lions defeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 9-2 in WWPA action. The Lions are led by USA Senior National Team goalkeeper senior Andy Stevens, who has racked up 187 saves on the season for the Lions. Loyola Marymount's scoring is powered by left-handed junior Edgaras Asajavicius's 40 goals and senior Tibor Forai's 33 goals.  Santa Clara will be Loyola Marymount's final WWPA game of the season.