SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Getting ready to play a nonconference game, No. 18 Santa Clara men's water polo will travel to Stockton to take on No. 6 Pacific on Fri., Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. before hosting the annual Alumni Game at the Sullivan Aquatic Center. Santa Clara enters the weekend with a record of 7-10 overall and 6-6 in WWPA play. Pacific sits at 8-5 on the season.
Tucker Carlson leads the Broncos with 32 goals scored and 78 shots. He has added five assists and three steals to go along with 14 earned ejections. Jimmy Moore is second on the team in goals with 20 and has a team-best 15 assists. Kyle Nadel leads the team in steals with 20 and has found the back of the net 14 times, good for third on the team. Freshman Evan Chang has racked up an impressive 24 earned ejections, second only to Theo Nasser and his 34. Between the pipes John Nash has collected 98 blocks, nine steals and eight assists, while Matt Pritchett had 85 blocks, nine steals and five assists.
With the 2012 season more than half over, the Broncos play fewer games each weekend after a long stretch of tournaments that saw four games played each weekend. The change allows the Broncos to train harder in practice because they do not have to conserve as much energy for a grueling weekend of games.
"With fewer games during the weekend, we can trainer hard during the week," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur, in his 11th season on the Mission campus. "We can also really focus in on the one game we have each day, and we can put everything we have into it both mentally and physically."
Santa Clara has already faced several of the nations top teams, including Stanford and UCLA, so facing a top-10 opponent is nothing new. Wilbur and his team, however, know they must step up their level of play if they want to come back with a win.
"UOP is a very strong team, and our games have been too high scoring lately," said Wilbur. "We need to play better defense to give ourselves a chance to win games. Also, in the past UOP has run a lot of drops against us. We have done a lot of work on both our shooting and driving, and these are two areas where we will have to play well to attack their drop."
On Saturday Santa Clara will welcome back several alums and play the annual Alumni Game at 12 p.m. It is a day to enjoy the past accomplishments of the water polo team and for the former players to get a look at the future of the program.
"The alumni game is all about celebrating the history of our program," said Wilbur. "It is great to see players who have graduated come back and play, share stories and meet the current team. We want all the alumni to have a lot fun and enjoy a great day."