With shuffling amongst the ranks of the Men’s Varsity Top 20 poll, the San José State Spartans men’s water polo team remains in the rankings, ranked No. 19, after being swept in four games at the NorCal Invitational.
The Spartans (1-5, 0-0 MPSF) head to the UC Davis Aggie Roundup on Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27, looking for their second win of the season, facing two top five ranked teams in five matches.
The opening day of the Roundup is a day of rematches for San José State, facing No. 4-ranked California Bears at 9:20 a.m. followed by the Santa Clara Broncos at 1:20 p.m. In the first meeting with Cal (7-2, 0-0 MPSF), SJSU was outmatched and unable to execute the game plan, losing 15-1. The Spartans and the Broncos (3-7, 0-0 WWPA) are tied 1-1 in the season series.
“Last weekend was a good learning experience for us to figure out what some of our weaknesses are,” said Spartans Head Coach Bruce Watson. “We are weak in fundamentals because we’re young. We had intensity but since we haven’t been together very long our teamwork needs improvement.”
The Spartans close out the Aggie Roundup with three games on Sunday. In an exhibition matchup, SJSU is paired with the Diablo Valley College Vikings, a junior college team, at 9:20 a.m. The Spartans will then face the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds (0-3, 0-0 WWPA) in the fourth game at 1:20 p.m.
In the final match of the two day tournament, San José State meets the No. 2-ranked Stanford Cardinal (8-1, 0-0 MPSF) at 5 p.m. Stanford’s only loss this season was against No. 1-ranked UCLA in the NorCal Tournament championship game.
In goals scored this season, San Jose State has been outscored 66-40 by opponents. The Spartans grabbed a season high 13 goals against the Broncos in the home opener win.
“The whole team is young, we need guys to have confidence to shot the ball and score.” Watson said. “We have good shooters, it’s just a matter of having confidence to do it. We had some guys step up at the NorCal Invitational, which was good.”
Thirteen Spartans have scored a goal or more through the first six matches. Freshman Justin Contreras leads the Spartan’s with nine goals, scoring a season high four goals in the first meeting against Santa Clara.
Continuing his role as leader of the defense, sophomore goalkeeper Matej Matijevic has stopped 77 shot attempts for the Spartans. Matijevic had a career high 19 saves against the Broncos to start the season.
“Matijevic is a very good goalie but there should be a lot fewer shot attempts, a lot more field blocks by the Spartans and fewer open opponents for him to worry about,” Watson said.
|No. 1 UCLA||100|
|No. 2 Stanford||95|
|No. 4 California||85|
|No. 5 Pacific||81|
|No. 6 UC Santa Barbara||75|
|No. 7 Long Beach State||70|
|No. 8 UC Irvine||65|
|No. 9 Pepperdine||60|
|No. 10 Davis||55|
|No. 11 Princeton||49|
|No. 12 Brown||44|
|No. 13 UC San Diego||40|
|No. 14 Air Force||34|
|No. 15 Bucknell||32|
|No. 16 Navy||26|
|No. 17 Johns Hopkins||15|
|No. 18 Harvard||12|
|No. 19 San Jose State||7|
|No. 20 Whittier||6|