RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Mac Carey delivered when Santa Clara men's water polo needed him most.
Carey scored the tying goal at end of regulation and netted the game-winner in overtime to send the sixth-seeded Broncos to a thrilling 11-10 win over No. 3 seed Loyola Marymount in opening-round action of the Western Water Polo Association Championship on Friday at California Baptist.
In a game tied six times, Carey, a senior, scored five times and Patrick Kirk added two goals for Santa Clara (15-11), which will face second-seeded UC San Diego on Saturday after winning for the seventh time in its last eight outings.
Blazo Mitrovic, the conference player of the year, tallied three goals for LMU (13-12), but needed nine attempts and was disqualified after being whistled for his third exclusion with 3 minutes remaining in regulation.
Kirk tied the game at 8-all with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter off a feed from Ryan Werner, but LMU's Joseph Shaw answered with a goal 22 seconds later.
The teams traded turnovers to set up the final sequence that saw Daniel Roth of the Lions earn an ejection with 2 seconds on the clock. That gave the Broncos one last opportunity and Carey rifled a shot last goaltender Jon Lien from the right side with 1 second on the clock.
After the teams traded goals in the first 3-minute overtime, Carey scored what turned out to be the game-winner with 2:35 remaining in the second extra session and then the Santa Clara defense stiffen.
Carey also drew five kickouts and Low was credited with four field blocks.
UC San Diego reached the semifinals by downing No. 7 seed Air Force, 14-10. The Tritons defeated the Broncos, 12-10, on Oct. 18.
The Broncos will face UC San Diego on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Lancer Aquatics Center.