Water Polo Splits Games at Rodeo
Stiff competition sees Broncos go .500 at home
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 11:10
The Broncos picked up wins over in-state opponents California Baptist University and Fresno Pacific University, but dropped two other games, keeping their record four games under .500.
The Santa Clara men’s water polo team hosted its annual Rodeo Tournament this weekend, and teams came from all across the country to participate. The field was highly competitive, with six of the eight squads ranked in the top 20.
They dropped both of their matches against East Coast teams, Brown University and Bucknell University.
“We had an unfortunate first game against Bucknell,” said sophomore Mark Davis. “The good thing to take away from the weekend was that we improved every single game.”
Junior Theo Nasser added, “It was a good tournament. We enjoyed hosting it. A lot of good teams come down here. We played four good teams and had four good games. Both of our losses came to top-20 teams; two solid, very well-coached teams.”
The Broncos entered the tournament ranked 19th in the country with a 7-11 record. The first match of the tournament for the Broncos was actually the first home game of the year for the team, despite the season already being more than a month old.
“It was really, really awesome Friday night. We got a really good crowd out there,” said Davis.
“The atmosphere in the aquatic center was really nice to feed off of. We look forward to having more home games throughout the season; hopefully we’ll get some good crowds like that again.”
After dropping the close opening match to Bucknell 7-10, the Broncos rebounded on Saturday by getting a close win over Cal Baptist, 7-6. Jimmy Moore, Theo Nasser and James Rude all had two goals for the Broncos. Santa Clara scored three in the second period after ending the first period tied 2-2.
“These were very physical, very high intensity games,” added Nasser. “We took a lot away from our losses, and were happy to get our wins.”
The Broncos split their games on Sunday against Fresno Pacific and Brown. It is not uncommon for the team to play two quality opponents on the same day.
“Definitely playing two games a day can really get to you, especially when it gets to the fourth quarter of that last game, you’re really trying to grind out the end of the game,” Davis said. “Sometimes what determines who wins is who can actually grind it out at the end and ultimately pull through and win the game.”
Davis said that despite losing to Brown, it may still have been the best game the team played all weekend. “We played them really well,” he said. “At the end of the fourth quarter, they just pulled away.”
Santa Clara now will face five single games before heading into the Western Water Polo Association tournament at the end of the season.
The final stretch includes a home matchup against Stanford University and one game against University of California, Davis.
“The biggest thing for us is improving every game and making sure we are at our best heading into WWPAs,” said Davis.
The Broncos will return to the pool Saturday, Oct. 27 to face Loyola Marymount University in a conference match-up.
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