SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Eighteenth-ranked Santa Clara University men's water polo (10-10; 4-3 WWPA) fell to No. 8 Pepperdine (8-7) in the Broncos home-opener on Sat., Oct. 8 by a score of 12-6. SCU senior goalkeeper Michael Wishart made two big saves on Pepperdine breakaways.
"Pepperdine is really good so they are a great team to play before a big conference game [against UC Davis on Sun., Oct. 9]," said Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur. "The big thing for us is stopping the counterattack and playing good defense. I thought we did a really good job of shutting down their counterattack and forcing them to score out of their half court, which they did. Offensively we need more motion and I think we can cut down on some of the kick-outs we're getting that aren't necessary."
"Wishart plays big for us," continued Wilbur when asked about Wisharts impressive saves. "If we do a good job defensively and force the shots we want he's going to make a lot of saves in a game and he's going to make a big save that leads to a sure goal. We can rely on Wishart, I thought he played really well."
At the end of the first period Santa Clara was down by a score of 4-1. Jimmy Moore scored the lone Bronco goal of the quarter. Senior goalkeeper Michael Wishart made a save as time expired to keep Santa Clara within striking distance.
The second quarter belonged to Pepperdine. The Waves outscored Santa Clara by a score of 3-1. The only Santa Clara goal came from Marcus Akerland in the last minute of the half. At the end of the first half the Broncos trailed by a score of 7-2.
To open the second half James Case got the Broncos off to a good start with a goal that made the score 7-3 in favor of Pepperdine. Less than a minute later the Waves responded with a goal of their own. At the end of the third quarter the Broncos still trailed by five goals, 9-4.
Nasser scored his second goal of the day in the fourth quarter. His goal made the score 10-5 Pepperdine. Wishart made an impressive block on a one-on-one with Danny White of Pepperdine with under three minutes to play. Patrick Weiss put a ball in the net with under thirty seconds left in the game. His goal made the score 12-6, where the game would end.
The Broncos will return to the pool at noon on Sun., Oct. 9 against Western Water Polo Association rival No. 10 UC Davis in Davis, Calif.
Pepperdine 12, Santa Clara 6
Pepperdine 4 3 2 3 - 12
Santa Clara 1 1 2 2 - 6
Santa Clara Goals: Nasser 2, Akerland, Moore, Case, Weiss
Pepperdine Goals: White 3, Milcovich 2, DeTrane 2, Mamby 2, Castillo, Loomis, Hewkb