Lions Get PCH Cup Win
Men's water polo scores 15-12 win at No. 12 Pepperdine on Friday afternoon.
MALIBU, Calif. -- The 13th-ranked LMU men's water polo team overcame their first true road game of the season with a 15-12 win over No. 12 Pepperdine at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool on Friday afternoon.
Not only did the Lions get just their second win at Malibu in the series that has seen the teams play 33 times overall, they did it with a complete team effort, overcoming five players removed from the game with game exclusions.
"I thought our guys just kept playing, just kept playing their roles, no matter who I put in the game," said Head Coach John Loughran. "I thought we fought through a lot, stayed focused and they did such a good job of staying together."
Sophomore Matt Cuozzo led the Lions with four goals as nine different Lions scored in the win. Freshman Dominick Beaudine entered the game in the second quarter in goal for the Lions and finished with nine saves, including a five-meter penalty shot and a save on a 6-on-4 disadvantage.
The teams alternated goals in the first quarter and put up 12 total as the game was tied at 6-6 after one. They added a pair each in the second quarter for the game to sit even at 8-8.
The Lions then broke the game open with a five-goal third quarter while their defense tightened and allowed just one goal.
"I thought we took care of some great opportunities in the third quarter," said Loughran. "And our defense really did a good job of limiting their chances. That was a key turn in the game."
Testman gave the Lions a 9-8 lead just 14 seconds into the second half and then he added another about 30 seconds later for a 10-8 lead.
After Pepperdine made it 10-9, the Lions scored the four straight goals, the final three of the third quarter and the first of the final frame to make it 14-9. Matt Stipanovich gave the Lions the 11-9 lead, followed by a goal from Di Stasio with :45 seconds left. Nicholas Zanobini made it 13-9 with just eight seconds on the clock.
Cuozzo added his fourth of the game and the fourth in a row for the five-goal lead and command of the game.
The Lions earn 1.5 points in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup with the win, giving them back-to-back wins over the Waves for the first time since 2004. The Lions won last year's meeting, 10-9, at the Burns Aquatics Center.
LMU will head to the NorCal Invitational on Sept. 20-21 at Pacific in Stockton, Calif.
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