Feb. 16, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's water polo team got back to their winning ways Friday night under the lights at Malley as they defeated Cal State Northridge by a score of 8-6. It was less than a week ago that Northridge beat Santa Clara by a score of 5-3 at the Triton Tournament in San Diego. But a long week of preparation and 220 screaming fans were all they needed to seal the victory.
The Broncos took control of the game immediately, as Amy Lamb converted an outside shot from the right side less than a minute into the game. A few minutes later Claire Linney added one of her own from within two meters. But with just over two minutes left in the quarter, Northridge cut the lead with a long range shot that beat SCU goalie Kristin Barnes, bounced off the crossbar and just over the line. Northridge kept pressuring but Barnes wasn't about to be beaten again, coming up with a huge save in a 2 meter scuffle with ten seconds remaining.
Northridge kept coming and after gaining a 6-on-5 advantage early in the 2nd quarter, the Broncos defense held strong, leading to another goal from Amy Lamb. Less than a minute later, Linney added another goal to extend the Broncos lead to 4-1. Northridge kept up the pressure, and with just over 2:00 remaining in the half, it had appeared that the Broncos D had prevented a goal from within two meters. Just as Northridge's Christine Cruz began to retreat, she turned and slung the ball past Barnes. As time was running out, the Broncos turned things up, and freshman Meg Zimmerman scored her first of the game. A last second sling forced an impressive save from the Northridge goalie and the half ended with Santa Clara leading 5-2.
In the second half, both teams flirted with disaster. After senior Katie Radvanyi put the Broncos up 6-2, Northridge answered right back. Zimmerman had a nice shot deflected out, and then Northridge struck again to make it 6-4. Senior Andrea Evans had a long shot tipped over the goal and then her 5M penalty shot was denied off the left post. It seemed that the Broncos had hit an unlucky stretch, but then Northridge had a shot to the far post deflect off the bar and down within a few feet of the goal line. With the third quarter about to end, Amy Lamb had a similar effort denied by the goal line before she teamed up with her sister Allie for what was a fantastic display for the fans in attendance to watch. About eight meters from the Northridge goal and off to the right side, Amy Lamb controlled the ball. After a couple back-and-forth passes in the area, Amy hurled the ball all the way to the other side of the pool, where twin sister Allie rose up, grabbed the ball out of the air and in one fluid motion, buried the ball into the back of the net with three seconds left in the quarter.
In the 4th quarter, Northridge's had just about luck run out as two shots hit the post and dropped within feet of the goal line all during the first minute of the half. Then, Liz Perry added her name to the scoresheet with a nice hook-shot from the two meter area. About half way through the quarter, Northridge converted on a cross fromthe far side of the pool. Northridge driver Jessica Coy floated the ball in across the front of the goal and Cruz converted to bring the score to 8-5. With three seconds remaining, Northridge managed to find net one more time, but it was too late. Santa Clara had already avenged their 5-3 loss from a week prior.
With the victory, the Broncos improve to 6-4 and will travel to Irvine, Calif. next weekend to take on the nation's top competition, beginning with No. 1 ranked UCLA. Stay tuned to santaclarabroncos.com for game times and other opponenets.