Broncos Win Thriller to Close Out Season
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LA JOLLA, Calif. - Continuing the theme of close games for the the Broncos at the 2012 Western Water Polo Association Championships, Santa Clara defeated Sonoma St. in a sudden-victory overtime thriller 7-6 in the 7th place game in La Jolla, Calif. Claire Eadington's goal just 27 seconds into overtime completed the Broncos four-goal comeback win to close out the season. Eadington was named to the 2012 WWPA All-Tournament Second Team.
"It was one of the best come from behind wins we've ever had and it was a great way to finish the year," said a happy Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur.
Numerous Broncos had big games individually. Stephanie Clements played well in the cage making 10 blocks. Senior Laura Espinosa continued her dominance at two-meters drawing six ejections while scoring a goal and classmate Marina Allen added two goals. Ashleigh Bandimere chipped in two goals as well. Senior Sarah Safir shut down Somona State at two-meters throughout the game while picking up two assists.
The Broncos came out slow, finding themselves trailing 5-1 at the end of two quarters. However, the Santa Clara senior class stepped up big in their final collegiate game, as Allen and Espionsa teamed with freshman star, Bandimere, to rattle off five second half goals. As she has done all season long, Espinosa drew a huge kickout on the last possession to give the Broncos the man-advantage. Bandimere captialized, scoring on the advantage with 24 seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime.
Both teams played excellent defense in the overtime period as the Broncos came up with two six-on-five stops to preserve the tie in the second overtime. To begin the sudden death period Allen won the sprint which gave the opportunity for Eadington to drill the game-winner on the first possession of sudden death.