SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 12 Santa Clara men's water polo team fell to 17-13 after falling to top-ranked California, 16-7, tonight at the Sullivan Aquatic Center. The Broncos were led offensively by senior Nick Poggetti's two goals.
The Golden Bears powered out to a 5-0 first-quarter lead thanks to two goals by Luka Saponjic to start the game, followed by tallies from Collin Smith, Ivan Rackov, and Brian Dudley. Dudley's goal came just as time expired in the quarter. Santa Clara's best chance came with 47 seconds left, when sophomore Patrick Weiss' lob shot hit the inside of the far post but bounced just the wrong side of the goal line.
The Broncos got their first goal of the game with 5:48 to play in the second quarter. Senior Josh Luebke charged down the right side of the pool after stealing the ball from Cal to the right of his own cage. Luebke then sent the ball across the face of the goal to Poggetti for a one-timer that beat Bears' goalie Wil Toppen.
Junior goalie Michael Wishart then made a great effort to save two point-blank one-on-none shots with about four minutes left in the half to keep the second-quarter momentum in Santa Clara's favor.
The Broncos couldn't keep the Bears off the scoreboard in the second quarter though, as Jack Stampfl found the back of the cage for his first goal of the game.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Dugoni scored Santa Clara's second goal off a cross-pass from redshirt freshman Jimmy Moore with three minutes to play in the half. The goal was Dugoni's second of the season.
Smith picked up his second goal of the game with 1:12 to play in the half to make it 7-2 Cal after converting on the Bears' possession after the shot clock expired on the Broncos.
Right before halftime, junior James Case was sprung on a breakaway by a pass from senior Mitch Klipa off yet another steal for Santa Clara but the clock expired before Case, who was unable to hear the clock countdown while sprinting, could get off a shot.
Freshman Tucker Carlson got the Broncos' first 6-on-5 goal of the game with 3:45 to go in the third quarter.
Stampfl scored his second goal of the game with nearly two minutes to play in the third to make it 11-3, but Poggetti answered back with this second goal of the game with 45 seconds left.
Stampfl opened scoring in the final period with his third goal of the game. Santa Clara responded with two-straight goals, one from senior Stephen Hobbs at the two-meter spot and another from Case on the left side.
White picked up his third goal of the game for Cal with 4:15 to play to make it 14-6 and Santa Clara senior John Radvanyi halved the lead with 3:57 to play.
Giacomo Cupido and Hunter Gettelfinger scored the final two goals of the game for the Bears, putting the final score at 16-7.
The Broncos will wrap up the regular season Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against UC Davis before hosting the WWPA Championships Nov. 19-21 at Sullivan Aquatic Center.
SCU Water Polo
No. 12 Santa Clara vs. No. 1 California
November 11, 2010 – Sullivan Aquatic Center – 6 p.m.
Team 1 2 3 4 F
California 5 2 4 5 16
Santa Clara 0 2 2 3 7
Cal Goal Scorers: Stampfl 4, White 3, Saponjic 2, Smith 2, Dudley, Rackov, Cupido, Nasoff, Gettelfinger
Santa Clara Goal Scorers: Poggetti 2, Dugoni, Carlson, Hobbs, Case, Radvanyi
Goalie Saves: Toppen (CAL) 2, Parsons (CAL) 6; Wishart (SCU) 8, Nash (SCU) 4