March 13, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's water polo team dropped its only contest of the weekend today, falling to No. 16 Indiana 13-9 at the Sullivan Aquatic Complex. Junior Taylor Harkins scored four goals to lead the team offensively.
Harkins gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead just 44 seconds into the game and had the chance to make it 2-0 about a minute later, but her shot of senior Jenny Knutson's feed went just wide. The Hoosiers tied it with their first goal of the game at 6:17.
Santa Clara had another solid scoring chance when Meg Zimmerman took a shot with her back to the cage, but the ball went just high of the crossbar. Junior goalie Wren White kept the game tied with a huge point-blank save on Kelly Palmberg's shot from just two meters out, but Palmberg got another shot on the Hoosiers next turn, making it 2-1.
Junior transfer Caitlin Espe evened the game again with a power play goal at 4:12 assisted by Knutson, but Indiana scored three straight goals, the third on a 6-on-5, to take a 5-2 lead after eight minutes.
The Broncos came right back at the Hoosiers in the second, scoring three-straight goals of their own to tie it back up. Two of the goals came immediately coming after the expiration of 6-on-5 situations. Harkins scored her second and third goals of the game while Knutson got her first. Each time scored one more time before the half was over, with Santa Clara's goal coming from sophomore Marina Allen, to make it 6-6 midway through the game.
The two teams continued to trade goals in the third period. Indiana scored at 5:44 but senior Rochelle Stowe answered with a long-shot goal from the middle. Sophomore Laura Espinosa almost put the Broncos back on top of the Hoosiers at 4:40, but her skip shot hit the post. Indiana capitalized on a five-meter penalty shot at 4:14, but Harkins scored her fourth to again knot the score at 3:58. White made her third big save of the game at 1:56, stifling the skip shot, but Indiana scored just 39 seconds later to take a one-goal led into the final eight minutes.
In the fourth, Santa Clara lost the sprint, but the defense held and on its first trip down the pool, Espe was denied by the post. After that it was all Hoosiers. Indiana took a two-goal lead scoring right after the expiration of Harkins' exclusion and then scored three-straight goals from in the span of a minute to take a definitive lead with just 2:26 to play. Stowe scored her second of the game at 1:26 to close Indiana's lead to four, but there just wasn't enough time for the Broncos to start a comeback.
White made six total saves in the game. Stowe finished with three assists, two steals, and two goals while Harkins had two helpers to pair with her four goals. Senior Meg Zimmerman recorded one assist, two steals, and drew two ejections. Espinosa drew four ejections. Santa Clara's record becomes an even 9-9 with the loss. The Broncos will not play again until March 24 due to winter quarter final exams. An alumni match is scheduled for Saturday, March 20 at noon.