April 11, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's water polo team again split games on the second day of its tournament, The Bronco, at the Sullivan Aquatic Center today. The Broncos lost a heartbreaker to No. 20 Cal State Bakersfield, 13-12, in double overtime, but came back to beat Sonoma State in the tournament finale, 8-7.
Against the Roadrunners, Santa Clara recovered from a slow start which resulted in a 5-2 lead for CSUB at the end of the first quarter, scoring five unanswered goals in the second period. Senior Meg Zimmerman and junior Whitney Allen scored the Bronco goals in the first period, while junior Caitlin Espe, sophomore Marina Allen, and junior Taylor Harkins made their marks on the scoresheet in the second.
The Runners came back to tie it with eight minutes to play and the two teams were locked in a stalemate through the rest of regulation. In overtime, senior Jenny Knutson matched Bakersfield's goal with a minute to go, but the Roadrunners scored with 1:11 to play in the second overtime to seal the victory.
Against the Seawolves, the Broncos took a 3-1 lead in the first quarter. Zimmerman opened scoring with a shot from two meters at 7:07 in the first quarter, while good defense from Stowe and Knutson prevented quick transition plays by Sonoma State.
Stowe made it 2-0 with the long shot at 4:33 in the first after a SSU foul and the Seawolves got their first goal with 3:53 left in the first, executing a tip play at two meters while on a 6-on-5 advantage.
A rare goal by the goalie White made it 3-1 in favor of Santa Clara. White's goal, her first collegiate tally, came on a throw-away shot with one second remaining on the clock in the first quarter. The ball took a favorable skip for White that opposing goalie Gina Uliana did not expect, and Uliana was only able to get her fingertips on it as it slid into the corner of the cage as the buzzer sounded.
Sophomore Sarah Safir scored on a counterattack at 5:26 in the second quarter to establish a three-goal lead over the Seawolves. Zimmerman added to the lead by scoring her second goal of the game with 3:31 to play in the half as the Broncos immediately took advantage of SSU's disarray following an ejection just one second earlier.
Espinosa scored the Broncos' second power play goal with just over a minute to go in the half to make it 6-1 at the midway point.
After the half, the Seawolves went on a three-goal run, closing the Santa Clara lead to two goals, but Knutson strike with 18 seconds left in the third put the Broncos up 7-4.
SSU came out in the final eight minutes with two goals, turning it into a very tight game, but Whitney Allen came up big for Santa Clara with just over four minutes left with her first goal of the game, putting the Broncos up by two. The Seawolves responded with yet another goal, but Santa Clara held them off in the end, finishing the tournament with a win.
The Broncos (now 14-13), will play their final two games of the regular season next weekend at the Sullivan Aquatic Center.