No. 10 Men’s Water Polo Defeats No. 20 Santa Clara in Rodeo Opener, 13-7

No. 10 Men’s Water Polo Defeats No. 20 Santa Clara in Rodeo Opener, 13-7

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Junior Tyler Kirchberg posted a game-high six points as No. 10 Brown University men's water polo defeated No. 20 Santa Clara University, 13-7, in its first game at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational on Friday night at the Sullivan Aquatic Center.

In their opener at "The Rodeo," the Bears (13-6) outscored the Broncos (6-10), 7-2, in the first quarter and then allowed the hosts to score just once between the 6:22 mark of the second quarter and the 2:25 mark of the fourth frame.

Kirchberg (Orinda, Calif.) tallied two goals, four assists, and three steals as one of five Bears to score two goals. Senior Jake Wyatt (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) registered five points on two goals and three assists.

As part of a well-organized defensive effort, junior Rico Burke (San Mateo, Calif.) came up with a team-high five steals alongside a goal. Senior Yahel Murvitz-Lahav (Tel Aviv, Israel) chipped in a goal, two steals, and two ejections drawn.

Freshman Hudson Rawlings (Murrieta, Calif.) notched two goals and two ejections drawn, seniors Luke Irwin (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and Warren Smith (Dallas, Texas) each scored two goals, and sophomore Spencer Carroll (Newport Beach, Calif.) netted one goal.

In net, senior Luke Weiser (Los Alamitos, Calif.) made nine saves and allowed just four goals over more than three quarters of play. Sophomore net-minder Will Renken (South Pasadena, Calif.) closed the game with one save.

Irwin opened the game with a goal on the inside from Kirchberg before SCU answered with a tally. Kirchberg then started a 3-0 run with back-to-back goals – both coming on the right wing off Wyatt feeds. The Broncos pulled within 4-2 with 1:34 to play in the first quarter.

The Bears then found the back of the net three times in the opening stanza's final 72 seconds. Burke started the run with a goal on the counter, Murvitz-Lahav followed with a goal on a secondary break, and Smith beat the period's buzzer with a goal from 10 meters to put Brown up 7-2.

After SCU scored the second quarter's first goal, the Bears supplied the half's final three markers. Smith scored on the left wing before Rawlings rose up for a goal from two meters and Wyatt converted from the right wing to give the Bears a 10-3 halftime advantage.

Each side scored once in the third quarter with Irwin providing the Bears' goal on a one-handed, one-timer on the inside off a helper from junior Austin Hwang (Laguna Hills, Calif.).

Carroll scored on the right wing to start the fourth, giving Brown a 12-4 edge, prior to a goal on the inside from Rawlings keeping Brown up 13-5 with 1:57 to play. Santa Clara netted the game's final two goals, the latter coming on the hosts' second 5-meter penalty shot goal of the quarter.

Next, Brown continues play at "The Rodeo," tomorrow – Saturday, Oct. 22 – with games against Fresno Pacific (2:40 p.m. ET) and San Jose State (8:00 p.m. ET) at West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif. 

Brown 13, Santa Clara 7
Brown....................... 7…3…1…2…13
Santa Clara............. 2…1…1…3…7
Brown Goals: Irwin 2, Kirchberg 2, Rawlings 2, Smith 2, Wyatt 2, Burke, Carroll, Murvitz-Lahav.
Brown Saves: Weiser 9, Renken 1.