Men’s Water Polo Has Strong Showing at WWPA Championship

Men’s Water Polo Has Strong Showing at WWPA Championship

WWPA Championship Central

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A strong finishing stretch to the season ended on a disappointing note for Santa Clara men's water polo.

PJ McDonough scored four goals, including the game-winner late in the fourth quarter, to send host California Baptist to a 12-10 victory over the Broncos in Sunday's third-place game at the Western Water Polo Association Championship.

Shane Hughes tallied three goals and Patrick Kirk, Adam Low and Arvin Bahia each scored twice for the sixth-seeded Broncos (15-13) who ended the season winning seven of their final 10 games.

The team's fourth-place showing at the three-day tournament was its best since claiming third in 2013.

Christian Britton, Joseph Galgani, and Zach Lowery had two goals apiece for the No. 4-seeded Lancers (17-15) who scored three straight goals in the opening 4 minutes of the fourth quarter to seize control.

McDonough scored twice in a span of 1 minute, 30 seconds to erase the final Santa Clara lead. Britton's goal with 4:04 left pushed the advantage to 10-8.

Goals by Low and Hughes pulled the Broncos within a goal, but the Lancers answered each time.

Lowery scored the final goal of the game with 2:14 left, just 13 seconds following Hughes' strike.

Goaltender Gabe Thorne was credited with 12 blocks to pick up the win for California Baptist.

Chase Zamborelli had three saves in the opening half and Sean Tehaney five in the final two quarters for the Broncos.

"Despite the loss today, I thought we played good water polo all weekend," head coach Keith Wilbur said. "The last month of the season we've played really well and lot of that is a credit to our seniors who grinded and kept getting better. I'm proud of what that group accomplished and they've helped elevate our program."

Santa Clara knocked off No. 3 seed Loyola Marymount, 11-10, in overtime on Friday to advance to Saturday's semifinals where they were edged by No. 2 UC San Diego, 7-6, on a late goal.

"The win against LMU was one the best we've had in this tournament since 2013 when we knocked off LMU for third place," Wilbur said.

Ryan Werner, Patrick Kirk, Jack Rottman, Adam Low, Shane Hughes and Mac Carey made the start. That same group has started the last 20 contests. Chase Zamborelli made his 13th start in net.

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