Water Polo Falls to Two Top-10 Teams on Opening Day of SoCals

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Opening the SoCal Tournament, No. 17 Santa Clara men's water polo lost two games to No. 2 UCLA and No. 10 LMU. The Bruins won by a final of 17-3 and the Lions took down the Broncos 16-9. Santa Clara is now 7-7 overall and 6-4 in WWPA play on the season. 

Evan Chang and Jimmy Moore each scored three goals on the day while Tucker Carlson scored twice. Chase Schaaf, James Rude and Theo Nasser had one goal apiece. Chang, Nasser and Carlson also each had four earned ejections. In goal John Nash collected 12 saves and Matt Pritchett had eight.

In the first game of the day Santa Clara fell behind UCLA 5-0 after one quarter and the Bruins extended the lead to 12-0 at the half. The Broncos got on the board twice in the third quarter and once in the fourth but it wasn't enough as UCLA took the 17-3 win. Chang scored once and drew two earned ejections and Carlson and Schaaf each had one goal. Nasser drew two earned ejections. Between the pipes Nash had seven blocks and Pritchett had six.

The Santa Clara offense fared better in game two but the Lions were too much for the Broncos. LMU jumped out to a 6-1 lead after one quarter and Santa Clara could never recover. Moore scored three times to lead the offense while Carlson and Chang had two each with Rude and Nasser adding one apiece. Carlson added four earned ejections to go with a five meter while Chang and Nasser had two earned ejections each. Schaaf assisted on three Bronco goals. Nash made five saves and Pritchett had two.

"LMU is one of the top-two teams in our conference right now," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur. "I saw some good things from us out there today like our offense but we need to play better defense. We can improve on our half-court defense and ball control on offense which led to too many counterattacks for them. We also could have done better on our six on five situations. Beating a team like LMU starts with good defense and we need to play better than we did. It was a tough loss but we'll learn from our mistakes and do better when we see them later in the season."

SCU    0 0 2 1 3
UCLA 5 7 4 1 17
Goals: Chang, Carlson, Schaaf
Blocks: Nash 7, Pritchett 6 

SCU  1 3 3 2 9
LMU 6 4 4 2 16
Goals: Moore 3, Carlson 2, Chang 2, Rude, Nasser
Blocks: Nash 5, Pritchett 2