A Sweep On Final Day
Men's water polo earns a sweep in final day of NorCal Invitational, defeating No. 7 UC Irvine in the finale.
Sept. 22, 2013
BERKELEY, Calif.-- The growth process of the young LMU men's water polo program continued in the second and final day of the 2013 NorCal Invitational on Sunday, as the Lions earned a sweep thanks to a 12-8 win over No. 16 Concordia and then a 12-9 win over No. 7 UC Irvine in the final game of the tournament.
The Lions improve to 5-4 on the season and finish ninth in the tournament, which had 14 of the 16-team field in the latest national poll.
Sophomore Milutin Mitrovic added eight goals on the day, including five in the win over the Anteaters, giving him 15 on the weekend. The second-year Serbian duo of Mitrovic and Vuk Cvetkovic accounted for 10 of the Lions' 12 goals in the finale as each of them scored five goals in the game. Freshman Cory McGee had four goals on the day, including three in the opening win against Concordia.
The third quarter was the key for the Lions all weekend, and it came up big in the final day. In the ninth-place game against UC Irvine, the game was tied eight times, including knotted up at 6-6 at the half. The teams would trade goals, starting with UC Irvine followed by back-to-back goals from the Serbians and then another by UC Irvine to make it 8-8 with 4:35 to play.
The Lions then put together another consecutive goals, the first by Seth Coldren and then second by Cvetkovic with 2:12 to play giving LMU an 10-8 lead. The Lions outscored UCI 4-2 in the quarter.
UC Irvine opened the final frame with a goal just 39 seconds in to make it 10-9, but the Lions would not allow another the final 7:21 of the game and earned goals from McGee and Mitrovic to close out the win.
"I was really proud of how we did not let up in the second half and closed out the games," said Head Coach John Loughran. "Would like us to be a little more consistent in the first half, but this team continues to grow and just does not give up."
In the first game of the day for the Lions, LMU trailed 4-3 at the break and then with the game tied 5-5, went on a five-goal run into the fourth quarter to take 10-5 lead. The Lions outscored Concordia 6-1 in the third quarter and McGee's third goal of the game capped the run with 7:11 to play in the game.
The Lions would tack on two more goals, both on the 6-on-5 attack to put the game away.
The Lions have a pair of key match-ups next week, starting with rival UC San Diego in the first conference match-up of the season. The Lions travel to La Jolla on Wednesday, Sept. 25 for a 6 pm start.
LMU will then return home for a single game on Saturday, Sept. 28 when the Lions host UCLA at the Burns Aquatics Center at 1 pm. The game is presented by the Lions Athletic Fund and tickets sold will benefit the men's water polo program. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for children/seniors and free for kids under 12.
NorCal Invite Game 23: #8 LMU 12, #16 Concordia 8
NorCal Invite Game 32 - 9th Place: #8 LMU 12, #7 UC Irvine 9