Jan. 27, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's water polo team begins the 2010 season this week with its home opener against UC Santa Barbara Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the Sullivan Aquatic Center.
The last time the two teams met was in 2007, when they played each other twice. In the first meeting, at the UC San Diego Triton Tournament, the Gauchos prevailed 9-7. In April, UCSB bested Santa Clara 9-4 in San Jose. Santa Clara's three seniors are the only current Broncos that were on that 2007 team and Meg Zimmerman scored against the Gauchos in the first meeting.
Santa Clara closed last season with a 19-16 record and made it all the way to the WWPA Championship match for the first time in program history while finishing with a No. 17 national ranking. The 2010 squad features 10 returners, two transfers, and nine freshmen.
UCSB is 2-0 on the season, having played two matches last Saturday and collecting a 5-3 win over Cal State Bakersfield and 12-6 victory over Pomona-Pitzer. Juniors Christie Clark and Claire Buchanan lead the offense, as each scored three goals over the course of both games. All three of UCSB's goalies have seen action.
Last season the Gauchos went 17-12 under head coach Wolf Wigo, an 11 win improvement from the previous season, and although they suffered a disappointing conference record they made a run in the inaugural Big West tournament to finish second.
Fans can attend tomorrow's match for free. The entrance to the Sullivan Aquatic Center is on the north side of the pool next to Stanton Soccer Field.