Broncos to Participate in Slugfest Tournament

Feb. 24, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- After splitting results this past weekend, the Santa Clara women's water polo team will travel to Santa Cruz, Calif. to participate in the Slugfest Tournament hosted by UC Santa Cruz. The Broncos (5-7 overall, 2-1 WWPA) will face off with four opponents during the weekend long tournament, from Saturday, February 28, through Sunday, February 29. SCU will take on three teams on Saturday, beginning with California State Monterey Bay at 8 a.m., followed by a rematch with University of Pacific at 11:30 a.m., and will close out day one of play against tournament host's UC Santa Cruz at 3 p.m. On Sunday, Santa Clara will face No. 18 University of Indiana at 9:45 a.m. to close out the tournament.

"We are ready to keep playing and improve on our past games," said head coach Keith Wilbur. "We are collectively getting healthier, which will be an advantage for us this weekend as we play four solid teams."

Last Time Out
The Broncos enter this weekend's competition, after posting a win and a loss versus California Baptist and University of Pacific, respectively. On Friday, February 20, Santa Clara defeated CBU in a, 10-9, thriller at the Sullivan Aquatic Center. Freshman Laura Espinosa scored the game-winning goal in the final 36 seconds of regulation in Santa Clara's third win at home this season. A shorthanded Bronco squad, who had two field players split time in the cage, managed to outplay the Lancers during the back-and-forth game, where the lead changed or tied at 11 different points. Senior Amy Lamb tallied four assists in the contest and junior Meg Zimmerman posted three steals.

On Saturday, February 21, SCU could not use the momentum from the previous day's exciting win, as the Broncos' were edged, 5-3, by the Tigers of Pacific. Santa Clara is now, 1-1, this season versus UOP. The SCU offense had a hard time getting going, as only three shots could find the back of the net. Defensively, redshirt sophomore Rochelle Stowe played soundly at 2-meter defender. Stowe had two steals and consistently prevented Pacific from getting shots fired off.

In the cage for the second consecutive day was senior Claire Linney, who played goalie in the first half, and Zimmerman, who took over goalie duties in the final two quarters. The field players tallied three blocks each and Zimmerman had a steal in the cage.

Scouting CSU Monterey Bay
California State Monterey Bay enters this week with a, 2-12 overall, 1-3 WWPA, record. The Otters have fallen in their last eight contests, posting their two wins this season versus University of Pacific on February 1, and on February 7, versus CSU East Bay.

CSUMB is led offensively by sophomore Nikki Smart, who has nine goals this season, and assist leader Alexandra Vespremi, has tallied four in 14 games. In the cage, sophomore goalie Kristen Prosser posts 30 blocks.

Scouting University of Pacific
Entering Saturday's game, the Broncos are, 1-1 overall, versus University of Pacific. The Tigers, who have won three of their last five games, enter this weekend with a, 6-7 overall record. In their first meeting on January 31, Santa Clara decidedly defeated Pacific, 8-2, behind the arm of senior Amy Lamb, who tallied three goals in the game. On February 21, UOP edged SCU, 5-3, in Stockton, Calif. Taylor Harkins led SCU with two goals, two steals, an assist and a kick out drawn.

This season freshman Allison Kosich has scored in 11 of the Tigers' 13 games this season, posting a hat trick in UOP's, 9-7, win over Colorado State on Sunday, February 22. Sophomore utility Dara Tawarahara leads Pacific's offense, scoring a season-high four goals versus CSU Monterey Bay on February 1.

Scouting No. 18 Indiana
No. 18 Indiana University travels to the West Coast for the second time this season. Entering this weekend's tournament, IU has not played in a game since the Stanford Invite, in Stanford, Calif. During the two day invitational, from February 7-8, the Hoosiers fell to Stanford, Arizona State and USC. They also played the US Junior National Team and suffered a loss in the exhibition contest. The Hoosiers, 1-6 overall, post their lone win this season on January 25, when they defeated Colorado State, 11-3, at the Michigan Kickoff.

Leading Indiana offensively this season is sophomore Amy Moore, who has 13 goals, and senior Maggie Hannon, who has nine goals. In the Hoosiers last game versus Southern California, Hannon led the team with two goals. Freshman attacker Jackie Kohli has tallied five assists in seven games this season. In the cage, IU has split time between freshman Cassie Wyckoff, who posts 45 blocks, and junior Katie Carson, who has 24 blocks this season.

Indiana will take on UCSC, Cal State Monterey Bay and Pacific on day one of the Slugfest, before going squaring off with the Broncos.