SARATOGA, Calif. – Opening a stretch of five in a row on the road, Santa Clara women's water polo got the start it needed, but was unable to generate enough offense in Saturday's matchup against crosstown rival San Jose State.
Guara Garcia Delgado (three) and Lilli Urvari (two) combined for five goals, including one each during a key run early in the third quarter, to help lead the Spartans to a 9-5 victory over the Broncos at West Valley College.
Taylor Peters was credited with 10 saves for the Spartans (9-13) who snapped a two-game skid by scoring three times within two minutes after halftime and holding Santa Clara to 1-for-9 with the man advantage.
Coming off a week of limited practice due to finals, the Broncos (10-11) jumped to out a 2-1 lead after the opening quarter and were tied at 2-all at halftime, but Jacqui Maisey scored 33 seconds into the third period and Garcia Delgado and Urvari followed quickly with markers.
The Broncos were unable to convert on four attempts with the extra attacker in the final five minutes of the quarter and the Spartans iced the game with three goals midway through the fourth.
"In the third quarter, even though our offense wasn't there, we gave up easy counter attack goals," head coach Keith Wilbur said. "If we can play the kind of defense we did in the first half for four quarters, that would have put us in a position to win the game."
Eldredge's first score came on a 5-meter attempt - set up by a penalty on Hannah Buck – and gave the Broncos a 2-1 edge.
But Santa Clara went scoreless for the next 14 minutes of action.
Hailey Eberle's goal with 3 minutes left in the third pulled the Broncos within 5-3, but the Spartans scored the next four.
Buck and Maggie Oys had the other Santa Clara goals.
VIDEO | Watch the crisp passing that set up goals by Eberle, Eldredge and Oys in Saturday's matchup with @SJSUAthletics at @wvc_vikings #SCUBroncos #StampedeTogether #waterpolo pic.twitter.com/Er2YnXsgRf— Santa Clara Polo (@SCUPolo) March 25, 2018
• Lydia Dadd (goalie), Hannah Buck, Annie Eldredge, Maddy Gomes, Mara Dominguez, Maggie Oys and Hailey Eberle started for the Broncos.
• Eldredge has 23 goals on the season, including nine in the last four games.
• Eberle has scored in eight straight games. She also matched a season-high with three steals and has eight in the last three games.
Santa Clara will be on the road during spring break, playing Fresno State on Wednesday at 4 p.m. and Fresno Pacific on Thursday at noon.
"I thought we came and played well defensively in the first half. But there are areas we can execute better on offense. Cleaner passing would really improve our 6-on-5."
Head coach Keith Wilbur