SCU Water Polo Beats Sonoma State at WWPA Championships

WWPA Tournament Central
Santa Clara-Sonoma State Scoresheet
SCU Water Polo Highlight Video

HAYWARD, Calif. –
The Santa Clara University women's water polo team scored three unanswered goals in the third quarter to break a halftime tie and beat Sonoma State 7-4 in Round One of the 2011 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) championship tournament, held at Chabot College in Hayward.

Santa Clara (14-18; 10-6 WWPA) – the tournament's No. 3 seed - advances into the semifinals to play the No. 2-seeded UC San Diego Tritons (15-18, 9-1 WWPA) at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

In the win over Sonoma State (8-28; 3-9 WWPA) Friday, the Broncos received two goals apiece from Caitlin Espe and Taylor Harkins and goalkeeper Wren White was teriffic, blocking 10 shots.

"Both teams were playing good defense," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur about the first half against SSU. "But we adjusted, and were able to score in a number of different ways. Caitlin Espe converted a six-on-five, Whitney Allen scored a counter-attack goal and Laura Burtness scored out of two-meters."

Tied 2-2 at halftime, W. Allen's goal put the Broncos in front and initiated a run of three-straight scores which put SCU up for good, leading 5-3 by the end of the third. W. Allen also drew three kick outs, while Espe and Laura Espinosa each totaled four. Marina Allen set her teammates up with four assists.

Looking ahead to Saturday's matchup with UC San Diego … The Broncos have pushed the Tritons to the brink twice this season, losing in sudden-death overtime, 9-8, on April 9 at The Bronco in Santa Clara and being edged 12-10, at the UCSD Triton Invitational on February 12 in San Diego.

UCSD defeated the WWPA's No. 7-seed, Cal State Bakersfield, 11-7 on Friday.