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LA JOLLA, Calif. - Cal State East Bay's Carly Clark scored the game-winner on a 6-on-5 attack with 1:07 to play to lift the fourth-seeded Pioneers to an 11-10 win over No. 5 Santa Clara at the 2012 Western Water Polo Association Championships hosted by UC San Diego.
Santa Clara, trailing the entire second half, erased a three-goal deficit when Claire Eadington scored her fourth goal of the game with 2:12 to play.
"East Bay was really trying to take away Laura (Esponisa) at two-meters, giving us some shots from the outside," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur. "What I really liked, is our team did not hestitate and kept taking what they gave us and over the course of the game (our shots) started going."
Erica Cain scored four goals for the Pioneers while Clark added three. Goalie Jayme Pekarske for the Pioneers had 17 saves in the game.
"They were daring us to shoot the ball, so she got alot of blocks. She had a good game but we had 10 goals and that was good enough to win," said Wilbur. "But the main reason I think they won the game was the 6-on-5 chances, we had a hard time stopping them. I thought they ran a real good 6-on-5, going to a number of different players and they were able to convert. Give them credit."
Bronco junior goalkeeper Stephanie Clements played well, totaling six saves and allowing just one goal in the first quarter, which allowed SCU an early 3-1 lead. However, the Pioneers went on a run in the second quarter to establish a lead before the Broncos rallied late to tie it at 10-10.
Tournament play continues Saturday, with some tough games awaiting Santa Clara throughout the weekend, including its next game against either No. 1 seed LMU or No. 8 seed Colorado State. That game is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday evening.