September 29, 2011

Broncos Head to Annual So Cal Tournament

The No. 15 Santa Clara University men's water polo team will travel to Long Beach, Calif. for the annual So Cal Tournament. The Broncos will open up with No. 3 California at 11:10 a.m.
on Sat., Oct. 1 and then will play the winner or loser of the Pacific vs. Loyola Marymount matchup later that afternoon.

The Broncos will measure themselves against the nations top teams this weekend, as 14 out of the top 15 teams will be in attendance. Last season the Broncos finished 11th after upsetting then-No. 9 Pepperdine.

"We know that we are going to have four games against extremely good competition and every game is going to be a good test," said Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur.  "In order to win games, we are going to have to play well all four quarters and execute down the stretch.  If we work hard and stay focused, we will gain valuable experience learning how to play and hopefully win those types of games."

Last weekend the Broncos picked up three conference wins over Occidental, Redlands and La Verne. The Broncos continued their balanced scoring attack as Theo Nasser, Marcus Akerland and Mark Davis all registered career-highs in goals.

On the season, the Broncos already have six scorers in double figures. Akerland and James Case lead the way with 17 goals, while Nasser has added 16 goals. Case also leads the team with 19 assists, while Daley Meistrell has registered 17.

"We do have a lot of guys who can score and that is a really fun way to play because everybody gets involved," said Wilbur.  "It does make it a little more difficult for our opponents to game plan against us because they cannot just focus on trying to shut down one or two guys."

Record Hunting

Two Broncos are in search of placing their names on the Bronco career leaders list. Daley Meistrell added four assists to his career total, putting him 10 away from tying Jack Wall as the all-time leader in assists. Case finished the weekend with three goals, giving him 122 in his career. Case now sits eighth all-time in goals scored. Michael Wishart is closing in on the top spot in the Broncos Career Blocks list, needing 107 more saves this season to claim the all-time record.

Young Guns

Five players have scored their first career goals this season. Jimmy Moore collected his first against California on Sept. 3, while Mark Davis, Kyle Surber and Matt Kochalko all registered their first goals at the Princeton Invtational. C.J. D'Arienzo found the back of the net vs. La Verne at the Aggie Shootout for his first career goal.

Tough Schedule

The Broncos are playing one of their most difficult schedules in school history this season. Through the first 11 games of the season, the Broncos have seen eight ranked opponents.

Player of the Week

Michael Wishart was named the Sep. 21 WWPA Co-Player of the Week for his outstanding weekend at the annual Nor Cal Tournament. Wishart tallied 49 saves in four games, including a career-high 18 against No. 19 St. Francis. Wishart was also named WWPA player of the week for the week of Oct. 27, 2010.