SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After a long three weeks of grueling preseason practice, the No. 15 Santa Clara men's water polo team is set to officially kick-off the 2012 season this weekend at the Inland Empire Tournament in Redlands, Calif. The Broncos will play three conferences opponents: Chapman, Whittier and Redlands in addition to playing No. 5 UC Santa Barbara. While the Broncos will look to pickup wins in each of their first four games, head coach Keith Wilbur did emphasize the importance of improving each contest.
"It is early in the season, so we are looking to improve every weekend," said Wilbur. "We have a young team, so learning and gaining experience from every game is key. We would like to build on the good defensive effort from last weekend and we are going to look to create more scoring opportunities and also convert a higher percentage of those scoring opportunities this coming weekend."
The Broncos spent last weekend scrimmaging two top-10 teams in No. 3 California and No. 6 Pacific while hosting perennial junior college power West Valley on Saturday. Wilbur felt the team progressed nicely throughout the weekend.
"I thought we played very well defensively against Cal and UoP," said Wilbur. "They
are two very good programs and I thought we did a good job of controlling the ball on offense and limiting their counter attack opportunities. I also thought our goalies played very well throughout the weekend. Offensively, we need to improve on setting ourselves up for a shot before the ball gets there. We also need to drive more in the half court offense. We have good speed and quickness, and the more we learn to use that to our advantage the better."
Redshirt junior Theo Nasser is the lone returning starter on a young Bronco team. Nasser, however, led the Broncos with 41 goals while earning a team-high 53 ejections. Junior Tucker Carlson and redshirt sophomore Matt Kochalko are the only other returning players who started a game in 2012. Carlson paced Santa Clara with 24 goals while Kochalko chipped in 15.
Be sure to check back to SantaClaraBroncos.com for recaps of this weekends games.
November 18, 2012 Bronco Men's Water Polo Finishes Sixth at WWPA's
November 17, 2012 Men's Water Polo Takes Down Whittier on Day Two of WWPA's
November 16, 2012 Water Polo Falls to UC Davis in First Round of WWPA's
November 14, 2012 Three Broncos Honored by WWPA
November 11, 2012 Men's Water Polo Falls on Senior Day to No. 16 UC Davis
November 10, 2012 Water Polo Falls 15-8 at No. 4 Cal
November 4, 2012 Water Polo Falls to No. 3 Stanford
November 3, 2012 Bronco Water Polo Unable to Take Down No. 10 UC San Diego
November 2, 2012 Casidhe McClone Sets High Goals for the End of the Water Polo Season
October 31, 2012 James Rude Making a Splash His Freshman Year for the Broncos
October 27, 2012 Water Polo Can't Take Down No. 12 LMU
October 26, 2012 Men's Water Polo Hosts LMU This Saturday
October 21, 2012 Water Polo Splits Two Games on Final Day of The Rodeo
October 20, 2012 Broncos Ride Good Defense Past Cal Baptist at The Rodeo
October 19, 2012 Water Polo Falls to Bucknell in The Rodeo Opener
October 18, 2012 Men's Water Polo to Host The Rodeo This Weekend
October 13, 2012 Broncos Fall to No. 6 Pacific on the Road
October 12, 2012 Water Polo Travels to Pacific, Hosts Alumni Game This Weekend
October 7, 2012 Water Polo Can't Hold Down No. 13 Air Force, Fall 14-9
October 5, 2012 Bronco Water Polo Heads to Colorado to Face Air Force
September 30, 2012 Broncos Lose to No. 16 Princeton and No. 12 UC Davis on Final Day of SoCals
September 29, 2012 Water Polo Falls to Two Top-10 Teams on Opening Day of SoCals
September 28, 2012 Bronco Water Polo Heads South for SoCal Tournament
September 27, 2012 Water Polo's Kochalko: Santa Clara is the Perfect Fit For Me!
September 23, 2012 Water Polo Wraps-Up Three-Win Weekend at Aggie Shootout
September 23, 2012 Water Polo Wins Two in First Day of Aggie Shootout
September 21, 2012 Water Polo Travels to Davis for Davis Shootout
September 16, 2012 Broncos Split Two Games on Final Day of NorCals
September 15, 2012 Water Polo Falls to No. 4 Stanford and No. 12 Davis
September 14, 2012 Water Polo To Play at Stanford in NorCals This Weekend
September 12, 2012 Tucker Carlson Named WWPA Co-Player of the Week
September 9, 2012 Men's Water Polo Finishes Opening Weekend with 3-1 Record
September 8, 2012 Men's Water Polo Takes Two Games To Open Season
September 6, 2012 Men's Water Polo Ready to Open 2012 Season at Inland Empire Tournament
September 4, 2012 Bronco Water Polo Has Successful Scrimmages vs. Cal and Pacific
August 1, 2012 Summer For SCU Men's Water Polo
June 28, 2012 Santa Clara Men's Water Polo Announces 2012 Schedule
October 25, 2011 Michael Wishart Breaks Santa Clara Blocks Record
October 24, 2011 Catching Up With Kyle Surber