Water Polo Claims Highest Finish Ever at NorCal
Lions fall to No. 4 Cal but defeat No. 6 Pacific to finish in seventh place at NorCal Tournament.
Oct. 6, 2002
Berkeley, CA (Oct. 6, 2002) - The Loyola Marymount University men's water polo team once again proved they belong among the nation's elite with a seventh place finish in the powerful NorCal Tournament held at the University of California Sunday. It is the highest finish ever for the Lions in the tournament, which featured 15 teams ranked in the nation's top-20.
The Lions, who move their record to 7-8 on the season, began the day with a 12-9 loss to fourth-ranked Cal. However, they avenged an earlier loss in the season to sixth-ranked Pacific with a convincing 12-7 victory to earn seventh place. It is the first-ever win for the Lions over the Tigers, who had won four straight against LMU. In addition, it is the highest ranked team the Lions have defeated in the program's history.
Playing in the first game of the day against the host Bears, the Lions fought to a 3-3 tie after the first frame. However, the Bears scored five unanswered goals in the second quarter, which held to be the difference. Both teams scored three each in the third quarter and the Lions attempted a rally in the fourth, outscoring the Bears 3-1.
In the win over Pacific, LMU had a second quarter push of their own, scoring four goals in the second frame while the Lions' defense and senior goalie Kevin Paulsen held the Tigers scoreless to build a 5-2 lead at the half.
LMU would hold a 3-2 scoring edge in the third and a 4-3 advantage in the fourth for the 12-7 victory. Nine Lions scored in the game, led by senior Andrew Jensen, who had his best game of the season with a hat-trick. Fellow senior Adam Zintsmaster had a pair of goals in the win.
It was the final tournament for the Lions until the Western Water Polo Association championships at the end of the season. The Lions return home to host 18th-ranked BYU-Hawaii at the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center on Oct. 9 at 2:00 p.m. It will be the Lions 14th straight game against a ranked opponent.
Game #25 California (6-3) 3-5-3-1 --- 12 LMU (6-8) 3-0-3-3 --- 9 Cal Goals: Stoddard 2, Panawek 2, Quist 2, Lathrop 2, Vienna 2, Conte, Arroyo LMU Goals: Rex-Kiss 3, Barr 2, Witt, Szego, Jenson, Lefebvre Cal Saves: Kates 8 LMU Saves: Paulsen 7