Senior Brandon Vincent gave Stanford some momentum and freshman Amir Bashti calmly delivered a pair of second-half goals to put the Cardinal over the hump.
No. 6 Stanford refocused after a frustrating first half to put together a sound attack that led to its 3-1 victory over visiting Santa Clara in the second round of the NCAA men's soccer tournament Sunday.
The Cardinal (16-2-2) stay at home for a quarterfinal match against Ohio State (13-6-2) this Sunday at 5 p.m.
The Broncos, who beat Cal State Fullerton to advance, took a 1-0 lead with 17:25 remaining in the first half. The match then bogged down, with five of the six yellow cards issued in the opening period.
Stanford was a different team out of the intermission, passing crisply and precisely to pressure Santa Clara, and ultimately find the equalizer and game winner.
"It's always a difficult game against Santa Clara," Cardinal coach Jeremy Gunn said. "They scored a goal that was unfortunate for us and we got a little uptight. In the second half we calmed down, relaxed and played wonderfully."
Vincent's goal, on a free kick at 32:33 of the second half, gave the Cardinal the momentum. From the right side of the penalty box, Vincent curled the ball into the far post that the Broncos goalkeeper could not reach.
"That's something we practice, using the left foot to put it in a difficult spot for the keeper," Vincent said. "When it came off my foot I thought it might go off the side, but it felt great."
Bashti, who did not play in the first half, entered the game and made an immediate impact. Ty Thompson took a hard shot that the goalkeeper stopped but could not handle. It bounced a few feet to where Bashti had settled. He was able to get it into an open net.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," Bashti said. "The shot came across the goal and I could see it would be difficult to handle, so I found a spot and followed it up."
Bashti's insurance goal, with an assist from Jordan Morris, came in the final four minutes.
"I made eye contact with Jordan and knew he'd get it to me so I found a spot, collected it and hit it," Bashti said. "I knew I had time on the ball."
Men's water polo
Bret Bonanni, playing in his final collegiate game, scored six goals and No. 5 Stanford beat UC Irvine, 17-6, to capture fifth place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament Sunday at USC.
Bonanni leaves as Stanford's and the MPSF all-time leading goal scorer with 360.
He is the only Cardinal in history to post multiple 90-goal seasons, achieving the feat each of the last three years, including 93 this season.
Bonanni scored in 29 of Stanford's 30 games with multiple goals in 25 contests this season. He recorded 95 career multiple-goal games and 68 career hat tricks.
The Cardinal (22-8) used goals from Adam Abdulhamid, BJ Churnside, Jackson Kimbell, Blake Parrish and Bonanni to surge out to a 5-0 lead after one quarter of play.
Stanford scored the first six goals overall in the contest, with Bonanni recording his second score of the game with 4:16 to play in the first half.
Goals by Reid Chase and Marco Stanchi gave the Cardinal an 8-2 lead at the half.
Stanford added six goals in the third quarter and three more in the final period to post the 17-6 win over the Anteaters
Junior goalie Drew Holland recorded 12 saves in the first three quarters, with Oliver Lewis taking over in the cage for the fourth period. He finished with three saves.
Reid Travis poured in a career-high 18 points, but the Cardinal (2-2) came up short against Saint Mary's, 78-61, Sunday at McKeon Pavilion in Moraga.
Saint Mary's (3-0) shot 57 percent from the field, including 9-for-16 from three-point range. Joe Rahon led the Gaels with a career-best 24 points on 11-for-16 shooting.
Stanford led 37-34 at the half. Marcus Allen scored all 14 of his points for the Cardinal in the first half. He picked up his fourth foul with 14:42 left in the second. Sophomore Dorian Pickens finished with 10 points.
Despite victories from Jim Wilson and Joey McKenna, No. 18 Stanford was unable to upset No. 1 Penn State in its home opener on Sunday, falling, 31-12, before a crowd of 2,500 fans in Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal moves 2-1 on the season, having previously defeated Cal Poly and Chattanooga on the road. Penn State isnow 4-0 as it vies for its fifth NCAA title in six years.
Ranked sixth nationally at 165 pounds, Wilson took an early lead over Penn State freshman Shakur Rasheed, scoring a takedown 30 seconds in.
Wilson led, 2-1, after the first period, but Shakur battled back, recording an escape to tie the match at 2-2 in the second.
The score held until early in the third period, when Wilson's escape gave him the advantage for good, adding another takedown late to win, 6-3. Wilson moves to 6-1 on the year and 3-0 in duals.
Penn State forfeited the 285-pound match to Josh Marchok (8-1), allowing Stanford to pull within four points at 13-9. The Nitanny Lions outscored the Stanford, 18-3, from there on out, only surrendering points to McKenna at 141 pounds.
McKenna, ranked fourth in his weight class, took on fifth-ranked Jimmy Gulibon in what was the most anticipated match of the dual.
The true freshman was aggressive from the outset, taking Gulibon to the mat almost immediately with a double-leg takedown for a 2-0 lead. But Gulibon didn't fold, battling McKenna tough in the second period and most of the third, until McKenna's takedown with 50 seconds remaining sealed the 7-3 decision.
Stanford takes a break from competition, taking on CSU Bakersfield for a Pac-12 conference dual on Dec. 17. The Pac-12 Networks will televise the dual at 5 p.m. Admission is free.