April 28, 2002
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's water polo team earned its highest finish ever at the Women's Western Water Polo Association Championships, placing fourth at the weekend event, hosted by UC Santa Cruz at the East Field House.
The Broncos, the tournament's fifth seed, finish their season with a 21-15 record after falling to UC Davis 15-4 in the third-place match this afternoon. Additionally, the Broncos placed first among non-scholarship programs at this tournament.
"We played a much better game today and took a lot of attempts on the cage," Santa Clara head coach Steve Hanson said. "Our team never backed down... it's been their MO all season long. They just don't quit."
The Broncos started the match with offense, taking the first shot of the afternoon. The Aggie goalkeeper got a hand on it and kick-started the transition, allowing Anne Harter to put the first point on the board. Melissa Agee scored as the shot clock wound down on UCD's next possession and took a 3-0 lead when Agee found Harter for a quick score.
Santa Clara kept taking shots at the cage, with a Carly Carpenter attempt hitting the crossbar before junior Elizabeth Glotzbach found the back of the net with 2:36 remaining in the quarter to put the Broncos on the board. The Aggies went up 4-1 with an empty net goal, but junior Becky Hong reduced Davis' advantage with her own goal, scored with under a minute remaining in the frame off a nice cross-pool pass from fellow junior Kelley Mays. UCD's Nicole Lorrimer made it a 5-2 advantage with her breakaway score with 19 seconds remaining in the frame.
UC Davis held the Broncos scoreless in the second half, while adding to their lead with three goals. Santa Clara had some good scoring chances, including a power play opportunity where senior Sara Schmitt's attack bounced off the crossbar and Hong's rebound try went just high. After a penalty shot put the Aggies up 7-2, UCD's final score of the half was earned when Shannon McGee's shot bounced off the left post and into the goal off the backside of Bronco netminder Anne Ginotti's head.
Santa Clara outscored Davis in the run of play in the third period, by a 2-1 margin, but two penalty shots that the Aggies converted into scores increased the lead after three periods. Mays posted a strong score for the Broncos despite being double-teamed while Hong added a goal for the Broncos, taking a solid pass from Carpenter into the middle.
SCU was held scoreless in the fourth, while UCD's final goal of the afternoon came on its fourth penalty shot.
Ginotti finished with eight saves while Carpenter added three steals to a strong Bronco defensive presence.