Oct. 14, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. --Jack Wall scored five goals, and despite giving up a 6-3 lead in the fourth quarter, Santa Clara played their hearts out in their final home match of the season to defeat UC Santa Cruz 9-7 in overtime. Santa Clara improves its overall record to 10-9 and 8-1 in the Western Water Polo Association.
Santa Clara got their offense going right off the bat. After having a man kicked-out and then putting up a strong defensive stand, Santa Clara opened the scoring with a quick counter-attack goal by Billy Gorin. But the real story was the team's play on defense. Santa Clara simply thwarted UC Santa Cruz's attack. Shot after shot was stuffed by the Broncos defense. And then, Jack Wall went to work, converting a goal from 5M after a Santa Cruz player had been kicked out, and continued to participate in the play.
In the second quarter, goalie Rob Callahan worked extremely hard to keep UC Santa Cruz out of the net. Callahan rejected just about everything Santa Cruz threw at him, including spectacular near-post efforts. Freshman Liam Farrell helped get the offense going again, sneaking one underneath the Santa Cruz goalie. Then, after Callahan made a huge 1-v-1 save, Santa Clara countered, and it was Jack Wall once again, who punished Santa Cruz after they had a man kicked out of the pool, and it was 5-3 at the half.
After halftime the game got interesting. Patrick Noack had a spectacular goal disallowed, which caused the crowd to really get into it. Jack Wall completed his hat-trick soon after, and the game got physical. Wall spent the rest of the quarter matched up with Santa Cruz's Nick DeVries, who did not make things easy. Wall took full advantage, though, and found a way to get DeVries kicked out of the pool. And then it got nasty. After an errant Santa Clara shot went up into the crowd behind the Santa Cruz goal, an unruly fan spiked the ball back into the pool very near the Santa Cruz goalie, resulting in the fan's ejection from the game. After a few more back and forth defensive efforts by both teams, the third quarter ended 6-3.
In the fourth quarter, Santa Clara almost let things get away. Santa Cruz had been knocking on the door all day long, and really started to get their offense going. Santa Cruz's William Sause put one in off the post, and from there on out, goalie Rob Callahan was a busy man. Callahan denied Lucas Zepeda's 1-v-1 fast break and as well as a few other Santa Cruz opportunities before giving up what was a very unfortunate goal. A Santa Cruz shot bounced back off the crossbar and then off of a defender and into the goal to bring Santa Cruz within one goal, 6-5. Soon after that, Grant Shubin tied it all up at 6. Santa Clara kept up the pressure, and Rob Callahan did well to keep the game knotted up at 6-6 as the teams prepared for overtime. With two seconds left on the clock, Jack Wall had one final opportunity to put the game on ice. His set-piece effort was denied and the teams headed into two three-minute overtime periods.
The first overtime period was a battle, and with 1:29 remaining, Mike Detoy made a meal out of his defender right in front of the Santa Cruz goal and scored to put Santa Clara up 7-6. Santa Cruz's William Sause answered right back, and Callahan had to make a strong save with only ten seconds remaining to keep the score tied at seven apiece. But in the second overtime, the gloves came off. After Billy Gorin had his fast-break denied, and Jack Wall stuffed a Santa Cruz effort right in front of the Santa Clara goal, Freshman Liam Farrell re-emerged and gave the Broncos just what they needed. From the far side of the pool, Farrell unleashed a beauty to the far post - nothing but net - and the Broncos re-took the lead 8-7. But Santa Cruz wasn't ready to roll over just yet. After an unfortunate turnover, Santa Cruz had one more 1-v-1 opportunity denied by Rob Callahan. With time winding down, Jack Wall drew a foul right in front of the Santa Cruz goal. He quickly restarted and powered a shot into the back of the net to put the finishing touches on the match, and that was it for Santa Cruz as the Broncos sent them home with a 9-7 defeat.
Next Saturday, October 21st, Santa Clara will face WWPA powerhouse Loyola Marymount in Davis, Calif. at 10:45 a.m.