LA JOLLA, Calif. – The opening game of Day Two of the Western Water Polo Association Championships turned out to be quite the match. Both Loyola Marymount (7-20) and Santa Clara (8-16) held multi-goal leads before the Broncos ended up winning, 15-14.
Jacob Markle opened the game with a goal and SCU answered later in the first to make it a tie score after one question.
Santa Clara then opened the second quarter with four of the first five goals, with only Joseph Shaw breaking up the run to keep it at 5-2. Alessio Brunochelli then added consecutive goals to make it a one-goal difference, 5-4. Each team added one more before halftime, with Edward Moss scoring for LMU with 32 seconds showing on the clock.
The Lions took advantage of a strong third quarter, scoring seven times in the period. Austin Clark opened with his first goal, only to have Santa Clara respond with one of their own. The Lions then scored three unanswered and four of the next five goals. Three came from senior Neil LeVecke, and Moss and Clark each added one more to their totals, making it a three-goal LMU advantage 11-8. With the scoring continuing, it became a 12-10 game heading into the fourth with Matt Braun scoring his first.
Santa Clara scored five consecutive to open the fourth quarter, and despite Braun and Davis Waugh scoring in the final minutes, LMU could not overcome the deficit.
The Lions will play for seventh-place in the tournament Sunday at 8 a.m. against Fresno Pacific. The two teams split matches played during the regular season.
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