January 28, 2009

No. 20 Broncos to Host No. 2 Stanford, Play in NorCal Cup

Jan. 28, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 20 Santa Clara women's water polo team will host their season home opener on Thursday, January 29, at 6 p.m. versus the No. 2 Cardinal of Stanford University. This will be the first game the Broncos will play in their new home - the Sullivan Aquatic Center. Two days later, SCU, 1-0 overall, will participate in the NorCal Cup which will be hosted by California and San Jose State and played at the Sullivan Aquatic Center.

"We are excited for our home opener," said head coach Keith Wilbur. "This week we will be facing some very tough ranked opponents and will be tested. Hopefully we can build upon last week's win and carry that momentum into our games this week."

Last Time Out
The then No. 20 Broncos decidedly defeated California State East Bay, 18-12, in their season opener in Hayward, Calif. Junior Jenny Knutson led the SCU offensive attack with a team-high four goals. She also added an assist to lead the Broncos to a 1-0 season start. Eleven different Broncos got in the high scoring game, including Kendal Hildebrand, Allie and Amy Lamb, and Jade Look who each scored two goals apiece. Senior Claire Linney tallied two assists, scored a goal and drew a 5-meter penalty, and junior Rochelle Stowe drew two kick outs, and had a goal and a steal.

Freshmen Marina Allen and Laura Espinosa saw action in their first collegiate water polo game. Allen scored her first two career goals and Espinosa had a steal and a kick out drawn.

Scouting No. 2 Stanford
Local rival No. 2 Stanford University travels to down the El Camino to take on the Broncos for the first time in Wilbur's coaching tenure at Santa Clara. They will be the first opponent SCU will host in the Sullivan Aquatic Center. The Cardinal are led by 2008 MPSF Co-Coach of the Year John Tanner, who is in his 11th season at his alma mater and will open up the 2009 campaign at Santa Clara. Stanford is coming off a strong 2008 season where they tallied four All-Americans, and a 27-5 overall record to finish in third-place nationally. They return Jessica Steffens to the lineup after she redshirted last season. Steffens missed last season because she was a member of the 2008 US Olympic team that won a silver medal.

"Stanford is a very talented team with a lot of depth," said Wilbur. "They will challenge us and to remain successful we need to stay composed."

On Deck
After taking on the Cardinal, they will participate in the NorCal Cup. On Saturday, February 1, they will take on San Jose State at 11:45 a.m. and Pacific at 4:45 p.m. On Sunday, February 2, they will face Sonoma State at 9:15 a.m. and close out the weekend's action with Hawai'i at 1 p.m.