Behind a dominant start, the Santa Clara women's water polo team defeated Cal St. Monterey Bay 8-5 to advance to the Western Water Polo Association semifinals. The Broncos will play the No. 2 seeded Loyola Marymount Lions at 2 p.m. at the Sullivan Aquatic Center on Saturday. For complete results from Friday's quarterfinal action, visit the official WWPA Tournament Central Page.
The Broncos saw six different players find the back of the net. Freshmen Elle Surber and Elizabeth Anderson cashed in two goals each while Jamie Swartz, Claire Eadington, Alison Norris and Kaitlin Murphy all found the back of the net. Stephanie Clements anchored a defense that only allowed 5 goals on the afternoon, tying the second lowest total this season.
Santa Clara jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind stellar defense and two goals from freshman Elle Surber in the first half. Both defenses shined in the second quarter as the Otters scored the only goal in the half while Bronco goalkeeper Stephanie Clements came up with three saves in the eight-minute period.
In the third quarter, Cal St. Monterey Bay outscored the Broncos 3-2, despite Santa Clara getting goals from Norris and Eadington. However, the Otters closed the quarter with momentum by scoring two goals in the final two minutes, including one at the buzzer by Julie Cooper.
Following a big man-advantage stop by the Bronco defense, freshman Anderson extended SCU's lead to three with 5:08 left in the 4th quarter. Santa Clara's defense would only concede one goal the rest of the day as it finished off a first round victory
This is the third time in five years the Broncos have reached the semifinals of the WWPA's. Santa Clara's only appearance in the WWPA Championship game came the last time SCU hosted the Western Water Polo Association championships in 2009.