September 11, 2013

Men's Water Polo Princeton Tournament Preview

Click here to watch a video talking to three of the players this weekend.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., - The No. 18 Broncos men's water polo team will take their first major travel trip of the season as they head off to Princeton, N.J., for the Princeton Tournament this weekend. After falling in their season opener, the Broncos look to have more success in these next four games this weekend. ESPNU will broadcast the Bronco's first game on Sept. 13 at 3:30 pm (Pacific), against Princeton from the Denunzio Pool.

They will start with Princeton in their home pool, then face off against George Washington, John Hopkins, Iona and long-standing rival No.18 Navy.

"Playing Princeton on Friday night and having the game televised is a unique experience for the guys, and they are really looking forward to it," said Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur. "We will see a lot of good competition the rest of the weekend, and it will be a good test to see how our team holds up in a tournament with five games in three days.  I think our depth will help us a lot this weekend and throughout the year in these type of situations.  Going back and seeing a different part of the country is also exciting experience for these guys, and it is great to be able to go on a trip like this before classes start."

In their season opener, the Broncos saw a promising performance from freshman Graham McClone who put up one goal, while his older brother, junior Casidhe McClone, scored two. The Broncos hope to continue this sibling power over the weekend to connect for even more goals between the two.

Last season, the Broncos and the Tigers played each other at the SoCal tournament in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Tigers won 13-8.

In 2012, Princeton was led by sophomore attacker Drew Hoffenberg, a Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. native, who scored 63 goals for the Tigers. The Tigers will also return goalkeeper Alex Gow, who recorded 194 saves in 23 games, and finished with a record of 8-7.  Princeton went 17-12 last season and came in third in the CWPA Southern Conference.

Next up, the Broncos play George Washington on Sept. 14 at 10:30 am (Pacific). George Washington brings back its two leading scores from the 2012 season, Southern California natives, Nate Little and Daniel Tyner. After combining for 101 goals last season, the two have already scored a combined 22 goals in four games this season.

On the same day, the Broncos will play John Hopkins University in a 4 pm (Pacific) game. In the cage this season, John Hopkins has had two goalies, Danny Ovelar of Caracas, Venezuela, and Erik Henrikson of Laguna Beach, Calif., splitting their playtime equally; each has played eight quarters. The Blue Jays graduated their three leading scores from the 2012 season. They combined for 235 goals. John Hopkins will head into the tournament 4-0 for the season.

Bright and early on Sunday, the Broncos will play the Iona Gaels at 5:00 am (Pacific). The Gaels return leading scorer, junior Jake Lloyd and starting goalie, senior Stefen Hill this season. Lloyd scored 64 goals in and Hill recorded 209 blocks for the 2012 season. The Gaels finished 8-18 in 2012.

Saving the best for last, the Broncos last game of the tournament will be against rival, No. 18 Navy. The Broncos are currently tied for 18th in the NCAA with Navy; this game could determine which team will remain at No. 18 and who gets dumped down to No. 19.

Navy went 23-6 last season, finishing first in the CWPA Southern Division. Navy graduated their leading goal scorers from the 2012 season, Paul Pedrotty, Jesse Walker and Erich Schwamb who combined for 174 goals. Navy has a class of seven seniors this year, enough for a starting line-up.

Be sure to watch the Broncos live in their first game against Princeton by following the link below!

http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/1091780/water-polo-Santa-Clara-vs-Princeton

Go Broncos!

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