SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In their final appearance at Sullivan Aquatic Center, Santa Clara men's water polo received key contributions from three seniors to close the regular season on a winning note.
In a game tied seven times, Santa Clara (14-11) forged into the lead for the final time when Carey set up Hughes for the go-ahead goal with 4:32 left in the fourth quarter.
The Broncos, who have won six of their last seven, fought off an exclusion with less than 2 minutes on the clock, but the (7-17) Spartans retained possession and drew another ejection with 59 seconds left. But Niels Hofmeijer's shot attempt with 41 seconds remaining bounced off the water and out of play.
Santa Clara took possession and tried to kill time. Carey's shot with 14 seconds to go was easily saved by netminder Yahav Fire, but the Broncos defense kicked in and didn't allow a shot attempt from San Jose State, which lost its fourth straight.
With less than 1 minute left in the third, Santa Clara's Ford Eldredge scored on a drive down the right side to snap at 8-all tie. On the next possession, Carey shot was saved and bounced back to Kirk who rifled it past Fire from 3 meters out for a two-goal lead, just the second of the game.
San Jose State tied it on back-to-back possessions. Adam Bado scored with 6:26 left in the fourth and Neil Arnett snuck one past Sean Tehaney 48 seconds later.
Tehaney picked up the win after posting six saves during his one half of play. Chase Zamborelli played the opening half, leaving with the Broncos ahead 7-6. He posted eight blocks.
Bado and Finn Pardon each had two goals for the Spartans who led for only a shade over 2 minutes in the game.
The Broncos are off until competing in the Western Water Polo Association Championship. The three-day event begins on Friday, Nov. 22 at California Baptist. Santa Clara faces Loyola Marymount at 4:30 p.m. in opening-round action.