Sept. 30, 2012
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The 10th-ranked LMU men's water polo team earned a 13-11 win over 11th-ranked UC San Diego and a 13-10 win over ninth-ranked Long Beach State to earn a sweep in the final day of the 2012 SoCal Tournament to finish in ninth place on Sunday.
The sweep avenges the earlier meetings to both teams to help the Lions improve to 7-6 overall and 5-1 in the WWPA.
"On Wednesday we went down to UC San Diego and we really didn't play that well as team. It showed us that we hadn't been communicating and playing as a team very well at all," said Head Coach John Loughran. "They have been working hard in practice to communicate and play as a unit. While things hadn't been going our way, they kept working. Today, we got the results we were working for. Hopefully we can keep improving."
The Lions opened with the third meeting of the season and second since Wednesday against conference rival UC San Diego. The Tritons looked to pick-up where they left off in their win from Wednesday, taking a 5-4 lead in a wild first quarter.
However, senior Kyle Testman and the LMU defense clamped down and allowed one goal in the second quarter. The offense responded and put in three of their own for a 7-6 lead at the break. Testman finished with 14 saves on the game.
LMU would grow the lead with a 4-2 edge in the third quarter, taking a 11-8 lead into the final frame. The Tritons would get a goal back but the Lions would keep them at arms length. John Mikuzis continued his hot play with three goals in the win, while Jon Colton, Collin Walters, Milutin Mitrovic and Seth Coldren all had two goals each.
The win set-up a rematch in the ninth-place game with Long Beach State, who defeated the Lions in the ninth-place game at the NorCal Championships, 9-7, on Sept. 16.
The first quarter was a complete opposite of the Lions' first game, as LMU jumped out to a 6-5 lead in the first quarter. However, the 49ers held the Lions to one goal and took an 8-7 lead into halftime.
However, this time the Lions took over in the second half. The Lions defense, behind another solid effort behind Testman and his 12 saves on the game, kept the 49ers off the board in the third quarter. Thanks in part to four goals from Walters on the game, the Lions outscored Long Beach State 6-2 in the second half to post the win.
In addition to Walters' four goals, Mark Menis and Mitrovic had three each.
Tournament action continues for the Lions when they head to the Gary Troyer Claremont Convergence on Oct. 5-6. They open Friday at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 1:40 p.m. and then Redlands at Pomona-Pitzer at 4:40 p.m. On Saturday they will play Harvard at 3:20 p.m. and Iona at 6 p.m., both at Claremont's Axelrood Pool.
- GO LIONS -