April 17, 2013

Bronco Polo Prepares for Regular Season Finale

Santa Clara, Calif.- After taking a weekend off, the Santa Clara women's water polo team will close out their regular season schedule this weekend at Sonoma St. on Sat., April 20th, at 2 p.m. The Broncos concluded their home schedule with the Bronco Tournament on April 6th and April 7th, which ended in a 12-10 win over Cal St. Monterey Bay on senior day.

Santa Clara (14-15 overall, 5-2 WWPA) will return home for postseason play, hosting the Western Water Polo Championships in the Sullivan Aquatic Center one week from Friday.

Saturday's game will mark the second matchup between the Broncos and Seawolves this season. Playing in its final WWPA designated conference game of the year on March 9th,  Santa Clara edged Sonoma St. 9-8 at the Sullivan Aquatic Center.

Coach Wilbur believes Saturday's game will serve as a tough test before the upcoming WWPA Championships.

"Sonoma State is a strong team in our conference, and when we played earlier in the season, our game was decided by one goal," said Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur.  "This is a great game to have the week before WWPA's because it is their senior day, it will be tough game with a lot of emotion, so I expect that it will be very similar to the type of games we will see at our conference championships." 

The Broncos will be back in action after hosting the annual "Bronco." Santa Clara finished 2-2 on the weekend falling to Loyola Marymount 8-2 and Cal St. East Bay 9-8 on Saturday before coming back strong and defeating Colorado St. 11-9 and Cal St. Monterey Bay 12-10 on Sunday. All four of Santa Clara's opponents will be participants in next weekend's WWPA Championships where Santa Clara appears slated for the three seed.

"The Bronco was a great tournament with good crowds and nice weather," said Wilbur. "Conference teams that we saw earlier in the year were playing at a higher level, and it was important for us to experience this first hand just three weeks before our conference championships.  I thought we played better throughout the weekend, losing our first two games on Saturday, but then winning our last two games on Sunday.  The key for us was adjusting to very physical play and executing in key situations, especially in the 4th quarter."

Santa Clara continues to be led by redshirt freshman Julia Peters who has tallied a team-high 42 goals and 55 earned ejections. Peters ranks second on the team with 36 steals. Junior Claire Eadington has had a balanced season statistically with 29 goals, 29 assists and 38 steals. Stephanie Clements has played well in goal this season, amassing 169 blocks on the season.