Broncos Close Out Regular Season
The No. 12 Santa Clara men's water polo team (17-12 overall, 7-6 WWPA) will host two games at the Sullivan Aquatic Center this week to close out their regular season. On Thurs., Nov. 11, the Broncos will host No. 1 ranked California (18-2 overall, 6-0 MPSF)at 6 p.m. Sat., Nov. 13, will serve as Senior Day for the Broncos, as they will play No. 14 UC Davis (15-8 overall, 12-1 WWPA) at 1 p.m. at the Sullivan Aquatic Center. The Broncos will host the WWPA conference tournament from Nov. 19- Nov. 21.
The Broncos have plenty of experience with both teams this season, as they have seen the Golden Bears and Aggies twice. Santa Clara lost 14-5 at Cal on Sep. 5 in the Broncos season opener. The Broncos and Bears met up again in the Socal Invitational, with the Bears coming out on top 15-8. Golden Bear juniors Corey Nasoff and Ivan Rackov have hit the back of the net against the Broncos six times each in the two meetings.
Santa Clara has dropped two tough matches this season to the Aggies. The Broncos lost the 11th place game to the Aggies at the Norcal Invitational 7-4. The next weekend Santa Clara fell to UC Davis 5-4 in Davis despite getting out to an early three-goal lead. The Broncos will have to slow down Aggie redshirt junior center Aaron Salit who has totaled four goals in two matches against Santa Clara.
The Broncos are coming off a tough week where they lost 14-7 at No. 7 University of the Pacific and 11-5 to No. 9 Loyola Marymount. Against Pacific, Tucker Carlson poured in four goals in front of his hometown fans to bring his season total to 24 goals, good for fourth on the team.
The Broncos continue to be led by James Case's 52 goals. Nick Poggetti and Stephen Hobbs have totaled 34 and 33 goals respectively. With Daley Meistrell's assist versus LMU, he has equaled former teammate Jack Wall's single season record of 52 assists . In addition, Joshua Luebke continues to set his teammates up, racking up 33 assists on the season. Michael Wishart has now collected 252 saves, 16 shy of a single-season career high.
The Golden Bears enter Thursday's game on a 10-game winning streak. Last week, California defeated MPSF conference foes No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, 12-5, and No. 8 Long Beach St., 14-7. Cal is led by junior Ivan Rackov, who is leading the MPSF conference with 60 goals in 18 games. Senior center Zack White is second on the team with 42 goals while left-handed junior Luka Saponjic has tallied 37 goals on the year. Sophomore goalie Justin Parsons has registered 129 saves on the year, while only conceding 100 goals.
The UC Davis Aggies played only one game last week, losing to No. 9 Loyola Marymount 6-1. Aaron Salit has been a force all season for the Aggies, registering 42 goals on the season. He is followed by senior Cory Lyle's 31 goals on the season. Left-handed senior Matt Richardson and sophomore Colin Hicks are tied for the team lead in assists with 26. Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Kevin Peat has had a big season for the Aggies, collecting 186 blocks while on allowing 128 goals, good for a .592 save percentage.