SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 14 Santa Clara men's water polo team defeated fifth-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 13-4, in the Broncos' first game of the 2010 WWPA Championships. SCU, seeded fourth, will now move on to play the winner of top-seeded Loyola Marymount vs. eighth-seeded Redlands in tomorrow's semifinal.
Junior James Case led the Bronco offense with four goals and won all four sprints in the game. Junior goalie Michael Wishart made six saves in the victory and sophomore goalie John Nash added three saves in the fourth quarter.
Santa Clara took a 2-1 lead after eight minutes of play. Senior Nick Poggetti opened scoring in the game at 5:55 in the first quarter and Case scored his first goal of the game on the power play with 2:10 left in the first. The Stags' Brian Chong halved SCU's lead with five seconds to play in the quarter.
The Broncos dominated the second quarter, scoring five goals to Claremont's two. Case capitalized on another 6-on-5 just 1:12 into the quarter, but Lefor pulled the Stags within one just 47 seconds later. Senior Josh Luebke extended SCU's lead to two with 5:41 to play in the half. Freshman Tucker Carlson scored with 4:30 to play in the half, but Chong scored once again with 3:59 to go to keep CMS in the game. Santa Clara goals from junior Marcus Akerland at 1:35 and Mitch Klipa with 32 seconds left put the Broncos up 7-3 at half.
After the half, the Broncos kept the foot on the gas pedal, as Case scored just 1:32 into the half when his shot hit the crossbar and went down and across the line. The Stags got one back at 4:35 when Andrew Cosentino got one past Wishart. Freshman David Guibord put the lead back up to five with a long, cross-cage skip-shot about midway though the third period.
After Guibord's goal, CMS got a 6-on-5 opportunity but a save from Wishart and a steal from freshman Kyle Nadel after the rebound got the ball back for Santa Clara. Guibord scored the next possession with 2:54 to go in the quarter to make it 10-4 Broncos.
Wishart with another big stop on 6-on-5 with under a minute to go and Case scored his final goal of the game with 27 seconds left in the third.
The Broncos, now 18-14 on the season, will play their semifinal match against Loyola Marymount tomorrow at 1 p.m.
WWPA Championships Game #3
Santa Clara, Calif. - Sullivan Aquatic Center
TEAM 1 2 3 4 F
CMS 1 2 1 0 4
Santa Clara 2 5 4 2 13
Claremont-M-S Goal Scorers: Chong 2, Lefor 1, Cosentino 1
Santa Clara Goal Scorers: Case 4, Guibord 2, Carlson 1, Akerland 1, Luebke 1, Klipa 1, Poggetti 1, Hobbs 1, Greco 1
Goalie Saves: Wasserman (CU) 3; Wishart (SCU) 6, Nash (SCU) 3