Men's Water Polo Ends Year with a Win

Men's Water Polo Ends Year with a Win

Dec. 19, 2001

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The Santa Clara University men's water polo team recently completed its season, posting a 10-14 record and placing seventh at the Western Water Polo Association Championship. Under third-year head coach Steve Hanson, the Broncos posted the most wins in the last three years. A few season highlights:

Senior Jay Moorhead earned second team All-WWPA honors. The two-meter man started all but two matches this season and finished with 58 goals and eight assists. He finishes his career with a whopping 179 goals, the second best goal total in SCU history.

The Broncos took care of business regarding rival UC Santa Cruz. Although the Slugs were ranked in the top three all season in Division III, Santa Clara won all three meetings in 2001. The series began October 7 in Santa Cruz. Senior Jay Moorhead recorded five goals to lead SCU to a 9-7 victory over UCSC. The Broncos held a 5-2 lead at halftime and was able to hold off the Slugs with two goals in the final three minutes after the home squad tied the contest at seven goals apiece. Back at home, sophomore Dan Figoni took over the reins with his own five-goal performance in a 13-12 victory over Santa Cruz on November 4. Sophomore goalkeeper Gareth Owens made 10 saves in that contest. The two teams met again at the WWPA Championships in Los Angeles. The Broncos completed the sweep with another one-point victory, this time by a 10-9 score. With that victory, Santa Clara ended its season with a win for the second straight year and secured seventh place in the conference standings.

Santa Clara faced a demanding schedule this season, with 14 of its 24 matches against ranked opposition. In addition to the three victories over UCSC, the Broncos also defeated 20th ranked UC Davis on the road for its only other victory over a ranked foe. It also marked the first time in three tries this season that the Broncos were able to come away with a win against the Aggies. The other two meetings resulted in a three-goal and one-goal loss. Senior Jay Moorhead did not start against UCD on November 3 for the first time this season while nursing a hip injury, but convinced head coach Steve Hanson into playing him in the second half. Moorhead went on to tie the game in the fourth quarter and recorded the game-winner with 42 seconds left in the 8-7 win.

Senior Jay Moorhead's last-minute goal against UC Davis wasn't the first time he performed such heroics. He scored the match-winning goal with just 25 seconds left in regulation to lift SCU to a 4-3 victory over Redlands to close out play at the Triton Invitational. Redlands took a 3-1 halftime lead into the fourth quarter, but sophomore Logan Gee and Moorhead tied the game before bringing home the victory.

Sophomore Kenny Flanagan led all Broncos defensively, with 53 steals. Along with the 21 he nabbed his freshman season, Flanagan now has 74 in his young career. As a team, the Broncos recorded 200 steals in 2001, marking the fourth straight year the team has reached the 200-steal milestone.

Freshman Peter Moore and sophomore Gareth Owens share time guarding the net this season, combining for 175 saves and a 9.91 goals against average. Moore led the way with 14 starts and a 4-9 record while Owens was 6-4 with nine starts.

The Broncos say goodbye to seniors Jay Moorhead, Dan O'Connell and redshirt senior Bryan Failing.