Erdelyi's Career Night Powers Pacific Past Santa Clara
Junior Balazs Erdelyi netted a career-high nine goals as the Pacific men's water polo team cruised by visiting Santa Clara, 20-10, Friday, Oct. 12. The Tigers improved to 9-5 with the win while the loss drops the Broncos to 7-11 on the year.
Erdelyi nearly surpassed his previous career best of six goals in the first quarter alone as he put away five scores in the opening frame. He added a pair of goals in both the second and third quarters. Freshman Aleksandar Petrovic added a hat trick while juniors Kevin Oliveira and Andres Oneto and freshman Casey Fleming contributed two goals apiece. Junior goalkeeper Alex Malkis blocked 14 shots in three-and-a-half quarters of work.
"We had a great offensive performance tonight," head coach James Graham said. "It was a great team effort, and a phenomenal individual performance from Balazs. He showed why he is one of the best players in the country and should be in the conversation for the Cutino Award."
The first quarter saw an offensive explosion on the part of both teams as they combined to tally 16 goals in the period. The Tigers opened on a 3-0 run thanks to goals from Petrovic sandwiched around a score from Oliveira. Santa Clara answered with two scores before Erdelyi scored his first goal of the game to put Pacific up 4-2 midway through the frame. The squads would trade goals the rest of the way as the Tigers took a 9-5 lead into the second quarter.
Pacific controlled the second period, shutting out the visitors while tallying six goals. Erdelyi put away two goals while freshman Sean Grady, Oneto, junior Tyler Ormsby and Oliveira each tallied one goal. The third quarter was much the same as the Tigers held Santa Clara scoreless until the Broncos scored with 37 seconds left on the clock. Two more goals from Erdelyi and Petrovic, along with a pair of scores from Fleming, gave Pacific a 20-6 lead heading into the final frame.
The fourth quarter saw the Tigers decide to rest their starters as Santa Clara found the back of the cage four times resulting in the final margin.
Santa Clara was led by a hat trick from Tucker Carlson. Goalkeeper John Nash started the game, making three saves before Matt Pritchett replaced him at the half, finishing with seven blocks.
The Tigers open Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play next Sunday, Oct. 21, when Pepperdine visits Stockton for a noon tilt.
No. 6 Pacific 20, No. 17 Santa Clara 10
Santa Clara 5 - 0 - 1 - 4 -- 10
Pacific 9 - 6 - 5 - 0 -- 20
Pacific - Erdelyi 9, Petrovic 3, Fleming 2, Oliveira 2, Oneto 2, Grady, Ormsby
Santa Clara - Carlson 3, Kochalko 2, Burke, Chang, Moore, Nadel, Nasser
Pacific - Malkis 12
Santa Clara - Pritchett 7, Nash 3