Jan. 29, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's water polo team opened up the 2009 home schedule in the new Sullivan Aquatic Center versus No. 2 Stanford University Thursday evening. In their first home game, the Broncos fell, 17-3, to the second ranked Cardinal team.
SCU will host the 2009 NorCal Cup, which will be played at the Sullivan Aquatic Center this weekend. The Broncos will take on San Jose State on Saturday, January 31, at 8 a.m. To follow all match ups and scores go to http://santaclarabroncos.cstv.com/sports/w-wpolo/archive/012909aab.html.
"Tonight's game was very tough as Stanford is No. 2 in the country," said head coach Keith Wilbur. "The team played hard and matched Stanford's physicality I thought, but we could not get an advantage on them. We need to learn from this game and use it as a lesson to help us the remainder of the season."
The Cardinal were able to move the ball around more efficiently than the Broncos, which lead them to the score advantage. The stocked Stanford squad was able to substitute players consistently, so their team was fresh in the pool throughout the game. After a 5-0 run, SCU was able to get on the board behind Jenny Knutson. A battling and shorthanded Santa Clara team, then lost season goal scoring leader Knutson at the end of the first half due to injury and she was unable to return to the game in the second half.
After two scoreless quarters, the Broncos were able to get their final two points late in the fourth quarter. Freshman utility Laura Espinosa was able to get on the board for her second straight game and junior 2-meter Meg Zimmerman slammed a shot past the Cardinal goalie.
"I thought Meg played really well," said Wilbur. "She worked hard throughout the game to get our offense going and battled extremely hard. She made some key plays that were major bright spots in the game for us."
Zimmerman posted a steal, a field block, drew two kick outs and a 5-meter penalty.
Defensively, Santa Clara worked nonstop to slow down the fast Stanford team. The Broncos had nine steals from nine different players and made the Cardinal turnover the ball twice. Goalie Wren White blocked eight shots and tallied one of the Broncos steals.
Santa Clara 3, Stanford 17
Knutson - 1, Zimmerman - 1, Espinosa
Allie Lamb - 1
Stowe - 1, Jarrell - 1, Fraser - 1, Knutson - 1, Zimmerman - 1, Thomas - 1, Linney - 1, Harkins - 1, White - 1
Zimmerman - 1, Hildebrand - 1
Kick Outs Drawn
Allie Lamb - 1, Jarrell - 1, Knutson - 1, Zimmerman - 2, Espinosa - 1, Harkins - 1
Zimmerman - 1
White - 8