Senior Bret Bonanni scored four goals and the No. 5 Stanford men's water polo team ended its longest losing streak in 20 years, beating No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, 10-8, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest Saturday.
The Cardinal (15-6, 1-3 MPSF) erased an early 2-0 deficit with four-straight scores to take a lead into the second quarter in front of a larger-than-usual crowd, many of whom used the match as a preliminary to Stanford's football game.
Bonanni, four goals shy of matching Olympian and four-time All-America Tony Azevedo's school and conference record of 332, struck first for the Cardinal, finding the back of the cage at the 5:13 mark of the first quarter.
He then tied it up 2:14 later as goalie Drew Holland made a diving stop from two meters out and then alertly fired a long pass to the senior, who put it in the back of the cage on the fast break. Redshirt junior Adam Abdulhamid followed with a pair of goals.
The victory ended a four-game losing streak, which matched the longest such streak since 1995.
UCSB snapped the Cardinal's four-goal run with a pair of scorers in the final minutes of the second quarter, but Bonanni capped the half with his third goal of the game with 14 seconds remaining in the period.
Stanford scored five of the first six goals of the second half to extend its lead. Sophomore Cody Smith netted a pair of scores to give Stanford a 7-5 edge with six minutes left in the contest.
The Cardinal led by as many as four goals in the second half, using goals from Abdulhamid and Jackson Kimbell to take a 9-5 lead over the Gauchos (13-8, 2-4 MPSF) with 2:25 to play.
Bonanni punched in his fourth score of the contest to cap Stanford's scoring. Senior Drew Holland tied his season high with 13 saves.
Stanford will be back in action Sunday as the Cardinal will travel to San Jose State for a noon meeting.