STOCKTON, Calif. - Santa Clara University men's water polo split two games on the first day of the Nor Cal Tournament hosted by University of the Pacific. The No. 16 Broncos (5-4) dropped the first game to the host No. 5 Pacific Tigers by a score of 16-9 but bounced back in their second game to beat No. 19 St. Francis (N.Y.) 9-6.
In game one Pacific led 7-2 after the first quarter and was able to stay ahead of the Broncos the rest of the way. Both Marcus Akerland and Jimmy Moore scored two goals for Santa Clara to lead the offense. Theo Nasser, Brett Zylstra, James Case and Kyle Surber added a goal each. Goalie Michael Wishart recorded 10 saves for the game and John Nash recorded three of his own in the fourth quarter.
The second game saw the Broncos again trailing after one quarter, this time by a score of 2-1. The next two quarters saw the offense come alive and score seven goals which put Santa Clara up for good. Case and Tucker Carlson led the offense with two goals a piece and Daley Meistrell, Akerland, David Guibord, Theo Nasser and Zylstra were responsible for the other five Bronco goals. Wishart recorded an impressive 18 saves that represented a career high for the senior.
"In the morning we had a tough time stopping Pacific's offense and specifically their counterattack," said head coach Keith Wilbur. "I thought we came back in the afternoon and stepped up on the defensive end, especially Wishart with his 18 saves. We also showed that our offense is starting to click a little bit. If we can get the offense going and play good defense we can win some more of these tough games."
The Broncos return to the pool tomorrow against West Valley Junior College at 10:40 a.m. Depending on the outcome of the first game, Santa Clara will either play again at 4 p.m. or 5:20 p.m.
Pacific 16, Santa Clara 9
Santa Clara 2 2 2 3 - 9
Pacific 7 2 3 4 - 16
Santa Clara Goals: Akerland 2, Moore 2, Nasser, Zylstra, Case, Surber
Pacific Goals: Morrison 4, Grady 4, Erdelyi 3, Tomasevic 2, Doyle, Szabo, Obert
Santa Clara Saves: Wishart 10, Nash 3
Pacific Saves: Frantz 7, Malkis 1
Santa Clara 9, St. Francis 6
Santa Clara Goals: Case 2, Carlson 2, Meistrell, Akerland, Guibord, Nasser, Zylstra
St. Francis Goals: Sasic 2, Gencic 2, Pantic, Toth
Santa Clara Saves: Wishart 18
St. Francis Saves: Mladenovic 9