Huge Third Quarter Lifts Women's Water Polo To Victory
Trailing 5-3 at halftime, the Pacific women's water polo team scored six third-quarter goals then hung on for a 10-9 victory over Santa Clara Sunday, Jan. 22, in the Tigers' final game of the Spartan Invitational at San Jose State.
Sophomore Elise Martin tallied three of her team-leading five goals in the third quarter. Fellow classmate Malena Prlain recorded her first career hat trick including Pacific's lone fourth-quarter goal that insured the Tigers of victory.
Martin gave the Orange and Black a 1-0 lead early in the first quarter before Santa Clara scored three consecutive goals to take a 3-1 lead midway through the frame. Senior Kim Kay put away her only goal of the match at the 2:43 mark to bring the Tigers back to within one.
The Broncos remained undeterred, however, scoring twice in the first two minutes of the second quarter to gain a 5-2 advantage. Martin's goal at the 3:24 mark trimmed Santa Clara's lead to two and neither team would find the cage again before intermission.
Pacific drew to within one on Martin's third goal of the match, coming at the 7:01 mark of the third quarter. After a Santa Clara goal with 5:53 left in the period, the Tigers ripped off five straight scores, pulling ahead 9-6 with one quarter left to play. Martin and Prlain accounted for four of the goals with freshman Brydie Pye adding the fifth.
The momentum did not last long, as Santa Clara pulled to within one on two goals, the second of which came with five minutes remaining. Prlain secured her hat trick with a score at the 3:54 mark, giving the Tigers a 10-8 lead in the process. The Broncos would score again with 1:52 left but Pacific's defense held on down the stretch, securing the win for the Tigers.
Sophomore goalkeeper Michele Relton recorded eight saves in a complete-game effort.
Claire Edington paced Santa Clara with five goals of her own.
Pacific concludes the two-day Spartan Invitational with a 1-2 record. Martin led all Tigers with 12 goals. Kay recorded six goals while Prlain and freshman Noelle Mann recorded three apiece. Relton notched 27 blocks.
The Tigers will take this coming week off before facing Cal State East Bay in their home opener Saturday, Feb. 4. The match is the first of four for Pacific on the weekend as part of the annual Pacific Invitational.