FRESNO, Calif. – For the second-straight game, Santa Clara women's water polo played well enough in the opening half to earn a road victory, but a flurry to start the third quarter helped Fresno State claim its first Golden Coast Conference win.
Emily Nicholson scored three times and Sydney Coachman tallied the game-winner early in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs (4-13, 1-2) in Wednesday's 7-6 triumph over the Broncos.
The Broncos trailed by three goals on three occasions and battled back.
Coachman scored with 6 minutes left in the fourth to increase the lead to 7-4 before Buck struck twice for goals in less than 60 seconds.
But the Broncos were unable to get a good scoring opportunity in the final 4 minutes.
Goaltender Madelynn Garcia picked up the win, turning aside 10 shots and she got plenty of help as the Fresno State defense clamped down forcing a number of turnovers.
Santa Clara led twice in the opening half, including 2-1 when Eldredge drove home a 5-meter attempt with 5 minutes left in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs, in their first season of existence, scored the next four.
Fresno State's Callie Woodruff, who also had two assists, erased a 2-all tie 70 seconds into the second half and Nicholson followed with two goals in less than 2 minutes of action.
Lydia Dadd was credited with nine saves for the Broncos who were also tied 2-all with San Jose State at halftime on Saturday before the Spartans went on a roll and pulled away in the second half.
VIDEO | Hannah Buck had 3 goals & Annie Eldredge added 2, but @FresnoStateWP had an early third-quarter run and came up with enough late stops to hold on for a 7-6 win over the #SCUBroncos on Wednesday in @GCCWP action. #StampedeTogether #waterpolo pic.twitter.com/O02vCtcmJx— Santa Clara Polo (@SCUPolo) March 29, 2018
Santa Clara play at Fresno Pacific on Thursday at noon.