SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Reilley May and Dane Estrella each scored three times, two of five players with multiple goals, to lead the Santa Clara men's water polo team to a 17-11 victory against Fresno Pacific on Saturday in a key matchup of Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) teams.
Mac Carey, Patrick Kirk and Jack Rottman tallied two goals apiece for the Broncos (7-13, 2-4) who pulled away with a strong second quarter, scoring four times in the final three minutes. Kirk scored twice in the last two minutes to give Santa Clara a 9-2 lead.
The Broncos, who were on the road for the past two games, were never seriously threatened, though the Sunbirds (5-17, 0-7) scored three straight times midway though the fourth to cut the deficit to six behind two of Lazar Roca's game-high four goals.
Emil Huebner backboned the Santa Clara defense with 11 saves, including five in the opening quarter when the Broncos built a 5-1 lead.
The Broncos, who lost to conference foes UC San Diego and LMU last week, moved into a fifth-place tie in the WWPA standings with Air Force, which visits Sullivan Aquatic Center on Sunday.
Santa Clara posted its highest goal total of the season, with all but two of them coming on even strength.
"When we focus on defense and counterattacks and play with a lot of energy, our offense comes together," said head coach Keith Wilbur. "I think we lost that a little bit on our road trip last week, so these three things are a focus coming into this weekend. I'm really happy see the guys do that with this game, and hopefully they do the same thing tomorrow. If we can play good hard defense and really push our six man counterattack that's when we play our best."
• Nate Miller, Shane Hughes, DeMarco Orella and John Raineri each posted one goal.
• Hughes had team-high three assists, and Estrella had team-high three assists.
• Emil Huebner was a presence in net, stealing five and saving 11.
• Miller had team-high four kickouts drawn.
• Keaton Fox came into net early in the fourth quarter.
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The Broncos face Air Force Sunday at noon at Sullivan Aquatic Center. Santa Clara will recognize its seniors, Raineri and Orella, prior to the game.