Bronco Water Polo Heads to Colorado to Face Air Force
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - For the first time in program history, the No. 18 Santa Clara men's water polo team will travel to the state of Colorado for a regular season game. The Broncos will play No. 13 Air Force at 1 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 7th. Santa Clara, currently 7-9 overall, will look to improve on their 6-5 record in WWPA conference games. With a win, the Broncos would avenge a 9-7 loss at the NorCal Tournament three weeks ago. Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur sees this game as a bit of a measuring stick for his team.
"This conference game with Air Force can potentially help with seeding, but it is much more important in terms of measuring our improvement," said Wilbur. "Air Force beat us earlier in the season at the NorCal Tournament and playing them in Colorado Springs where they are used to the high altitude and get to play at home will be tougher conditions. I see this as a great challenge for the team to play in a difficult environment against a conference opponent who is currently ranked higher than us."
While the Broncos will play their game on Sunday with the Falcons, the team will focus on training Friday and Saturday. In addition, the team will have an opportunity to attend a nationally televised Air Force vs. Navy football game on Saturday morning.
"Our conference requires that we travel to Air Force once every three years and we usually do not travel this far for one game," said Wilbur. "Since we have to do this, we are making it a training trip as well, and we will practice there on Friday and Saturday. Air Force is also putting us on a pass list for Air Force vs. Navy football game on Saturday morning. I think this will be a great trip for the guys to see the Air Force Academy, experience a great football rivalry and then cap it off by playing in a big conference water polo game on Sunday afternoon."
In Santa Clara's loss to Air Force on Sept. 16, senior C.J. D'Arienzo registered a career-high four goals. Tucker Carlson also added two goals while Mark Davis came off the bench to tally one. Carlson continues to lead the Broncos in scoring this season with 32 goals scored. Jimmy Moore has paced the Broncos with a career-high 20 goals while Kyle Nadel and James Rude have each tallied 14.
Theo Nasser and Evan Chang have done an outstanding job giving the Broncos man-advantages all year long as Nasser has tallied 34 earned ejections while Chang has 24.
Highlighting last weekend at the SoCal Tournament was Carlson's eight goals on the weekend. Connor Brown cashed in his first career goal against Princeton and wasted no time scoring his second on a ball-side drive against UC Davis.