Check out photos from the game! (Credit Denis Concordel)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In front of another big home crowd, No. 19 Santa Clara men's water polo defeated Cal Baptist by a final of 7-6 at The Rodeo. With the win the Broncos are now 8-12 overall on the season.
Santa Clara will play two games tomorrow to wrap-up The Rodeo with the first game coming at 10:40 a.m. vs. Fresno Pacific and the second game at 2:40 p.m. vs. Brown.
The game was dominated by Santa Clara defense, most notably Kyle Nadel who had seven steals including one in the final minute when the Broncos were down a man. Chase Schaaf had three steals and James Rude had two while defending the set. Theo Nasser had five earned ejections. Offensively, Jimmy Moore, Nasser and Rude each had two goals while Nadel added one. Matt Kochalko and Mark Davis each had three assists. Between the pipes both goalies played well with John Nash picking up eight blocks and Matt Pritchett having five.
"It was a really good game for us," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur. "Cal Baptist is the best team we've beaten this season and even though we had a tough loss last night the guys came out with a lot of energy. They played really hard and did what they had to to win. We played better defense than last night but we still didn't do what we wanted on offense. If we can keep the game low scoring we're going to give ourselves a chance a chance to win. I was happy with the result and with the defense throughout the game."
Santa Clara was even at the end of the first quarter with the score 2-2 but the Broncos put up a 3-0 score in the second quarter to take a 5-2 lead into halftime. The Lancers came back and won the third quarter 3-1 to pull within one goal but Santa Clara was able to hang on and win 7-6. One of the biggest plays of the game came in the final minute when Nadel had a steal with Cal Baptist up a man and threatening to even the score.
SCU 2 3 1 1 7
CB 2 0 3 1 6
Goals: Nasser 2, Moore 2, Rude 2, Nadel
Blocks: Nash 8, Pritchett 5