SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the most entertaining game of Friday's opening-round action in the Golden Coast Conference Championship, Santa Clara women's water polo was unable to complete its comeback against Azusa Pacific, falling 7-6 on a goal from Mar Pastor Alvarez with just more than 10 seconds left.
Britt Harris tallied a game-high tying three goals and Annalise Batcheller scored once and had two assists for the fourth-seeded Cougars (14-13), who advance to Saturday's semifinals to face top seed San Diego State (17-13) at Santa Clara's Sullivan Aquatic Center.
Hannah Buck also had three goals, all in the second half, and Susan Providenza notched one and dished out a pair of assists for the No. 5 Broncos (8-20) who will play in Sunday's fifth-place against either No. 6 seed California Baptist or No. 7 Fresno Pacific.
The Broncos rallied twice after falling behind by two goals in the fourth quarter.
Buck's second goal, off a feed from Providenza, trimmed the Azusa Pacific lead to 5-4 midway through the final period.
On the ensuing possession, the Broncos turned aside a pair of scoring threats, but with just more than two minutes left Batcheller's goal again gave the Cougars a two-goal cushion.
But again the Broncos answered, this time just as an exclusion ended, when Cathy Cantoni scored to make it 6-5. Then on their next possession, Buck was able to get free in the offensive end on transition. She reached the ball just before Azusa Pacific goalie Marquez and lobbed it into the net from five meters and the game was tied at 6-all.
Alvarez then set up her own game-winner by forcing a turnover. After an Azusa Pacific timeout, Alvarez free on the left side the Santa Clara goal and fired the go-ahead score past netminder Francesca Puccinelli.
Santa Clara's Annie Eldredge had one final chance to even the score, but her shot with about five seconds remaining hit the post.
Alvarez and Marquez each posted a game-high three steals. Puccinellli had nine saves and Marquez posted eight.
In Friday's first preliminary round game, No. 3 seed Loyola Marymount defeated sixth-seeded Cal Baptist, 12-2, behind four goals apiece from Sage Pfeiffer and Hana Vilanova.
In game two, No. 2 seed Pacific downed seventh-seeded Fresno Pacific, 15-3, with Kyra Christmas providing five goals and Mariana Duarte adding three.
The seven-team, three-day tournament continues Saturday with games beginning at 10:30 a.m.
2017 GOLDEN COAST CONFERENCE WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
April 28-30 • Santa Clara University • Sullivan Aquatic Center
FRIDAY, APRIL 28
• Game 1: No. 3 LMU 12, No. 6 California Baptist 2 - Box Score
• Game 2: No. 2 Pacific 15, No. 7 Fresno Pacific 3 - Box Score
• Game 3: No. 4 Azusa Pacific 7, No. 5 Santa Clara 6 - Box Score
SATURDAY, APRIL 29
• Game 4: No. 6 California Baptist vs. No. 7 Fresno Pacific - 10:30 a.m.
• Game 5: No. 3 LMU vs. No. 2 Pacific - Noon
• Game 6: No. 1 San Diego State vs. No. 4 Azusa Pacific - 1:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, APRIL 30
• Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. No. 5 Santa Clara (5th Place) - 10:30 a.m.
• Game 8: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 (3rd Place) - noon
• Game 9: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 (Championship) - 1:30 p.m.
All times Pacific
GAMEDAY INFORMATION - SATURDAY
||Cal Baptist vs. Fresno Pacific | 10:30 a.m.
||Video | Live Stats
||LMU vs. Pacific | Noon
||Video | Live Stats|
||San Diego St. vs. Azusa Pacific | 1:30 p.m.
||Video | Live Stats|
Sullivan Aquatic Center: The home pool of the Broncos, Sullivan Aquatic Center is adjacent to Leavey Center. Unfortunately, there no concessions available in the facility, nor are patrons allowed to bring in food or drinks. However, patrons may bring in bottled water. Click here for a campus map.
Tickets: On Friday and Saturday, tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for children under 12 and students. Sunday's admission is $15 for adults; $10 for children under 12 and students. There will be 40 tickets available per day to members of the Ruff Riders, Santa Clara's student booster club. Those tickets may be obtained at the Sullivan Aquatic Center gate with presentation of a Santa Clara ID. Click here to purchase online or contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or [email protected]. Sullivan Aquatic Center, as well as its ticket office, is open one hour prior to the start of first game each day. Only CASH is accepted at Sullivan Aquatic Center.
Parking: The Leavey Center lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, will be available free of charge all three days of the tournament. All other parking facilities on campus will be subject to normal daily rates or restrictions. Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.
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