The Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team nearly won its second home match on Friday, March 28 against the Division I, No. 18-ranked Santa Clara University. Cougars kept up to the Broncos until the last quarter when Santa Clara managed to tally two goals to steal the game.
Cougars’ head coach Julie Snodgrass entered the game knowing that it was going to be a tough match.
“We were kind of coming in without having played them before, so it was just a ‘you know, let’s just come out and play our game; let’s play the hardest that we can; let’s leave it all in the pool,'” Snodgrass said.
Azusa Pacific came out strong with senior utility player Angelina Castaneda leading the Cougars with three goals. Freshman driver Megan Myers followed with two goals and sophomore utility players Maryann Slama and Alynn Reade added a goal each. Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Margot tallied seven saves by the final quarter for the Cougars.
The Broncos made the opening goal in the first quarter. By the end of the quarter, APU led Santa Clara 3-1 with two goals from Castaneda and and one goal from Slama.
The Broncos and the Cougars were neck-and-neck in the second quarter when Santa Clara scored a goal through a 6-on-5 chance to make the score 3-2. Slama then came in and scored another goal, giving the Cougars a two-point lead. The Broncos managed to slam in two goals, tying the game 4-4. Myers followed with a goal and Santa Clara then tied the game once again, 5-5. Castaneda closed out the second quarter by making another goal with just 23 seconds on the clock. The Cougars ended the second quarter, 6-5.
In the third quarter, Slama got ejected twice resulting in two advantages for Santa Clara. Margot managed to block Santa Clara’s first 5-meter penalty shot, but the Broncos scored the second, tying the game 6-6. Myers scored two more goals in the quarter, but with each goal, the Broncos answered. The third quarter ended, knotted at eight.
The Cougars battled in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos pulled through and scored two goals in the final quarter to end the game with 10-8.
Azusa Pacific will play on the road next week for the team’s next Golden Coast Conference matchup against California Baptist on Friday, April 4. The Cougars will then return home for the final three games of the regular season before the conference championship series.