BOX SCORE (PDF)
LOS ANGELES, Calif.-- An early hole proved to be too much for the Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team to overcome. In the first match of the inaugural Golden Coast Conference tournament the Cougars fell behind by three goals at the half, and despite pushing to upset No. 17 ranked Santa Clara in the fourth quarter, dropped Thursday’s quarterfinal match 10-8 at the Burns Aquatic Center.
Azusa Pacific got a hat trick from Lora Donalson, and two goals apiece from Alynn Reade and Angelina Castaneda, while Alyssa Hess’ fourth quarter score got the Cougars (15-20) within two against the third-seeded Broncos (17-11).
“We came out, we played with passion and intensity. We were pretty solid on defense and offense, but we gave up too many ejections and had to dig ourselves out of a hole. We started closing the gap in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. It wasn’t the ideal start to the tournament, but we played with intensity and I think we’ll do well moving forward,” said head coach Julie Snodgrass.
Azusa Pacific grabbed an early 2-1 lead, but Santa Clara countered with three straight first quarter scores to go into the first break ahead 4-2. Reade’s first goal of the day got the Cougars within one before the Broncos rattled off back-to-back scores, with the latter coming with just over a second left in the opening half to give SCU a 6-3 edge after 16 minutes of play.
Over the balance of the match the Broncos and Cougars alternated goals with SCU never stretching its lead beyond three, but keeping Azusa Pacific at a distance with a 2+ goal advantage throughout the game.
Donaldson tallied a pair of second half scores, while Reade and Castaneda found the back of the net in the third and fourth quarters respectively. Sophomore keeper Katie Margot recorded nine saves in the loss, and limited the Broncos to just 2-of-10 in 6-on-5 opportunities.
With the win, SCU advances to face No. 2 seed Loyola Marymount in the semifinals Friday. Azusa Pacific will take on Fresno Pacific, with the winner moving on to the fifth place match Saturday. For more information on the 2014 GCC Tournament, visit the Tournament Central page here: http://www.gccwaterpolo.com/f/Championship_Central.php