Lions Wrap-up WWPA Play With Win

Alex Athimaritis
Nov. 5, 2016

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - LMU men’s water polo wrapped up Western Water Polo Association play on the road this weekend, completing a two-game split as they defeated 20th-ranked Santa Clara, 14-13, at the Sullivan Aquatics Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions, who opened the road trip with a 13-8 setback to No. 8 UC Davis on Thursday, finish the regular season 4-2 in WWPA play and will be the No. 3 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Santa Clara will host the tournament Nov. 18-20.

On Saturday, the Lions (11-14, 4-2) kept the Broncos (11-14, 2-4) at arms length throughout. Alex Athimaritis led LMU with four goals and Daniel Arellano added to his LMU record assist total with four. He has 64 on the season.

The game was tight early as the team’s traded one-goal leads. The Lions scored first only to see Santa Clara score twice. The Lions then scored back-to-back goals to take a 3-2 lead.

It didn’t last as Santa Clara netted consecutive goals to make it 4-3.

The Lions then gained some separation, scoring three unanswered goals to end the first half, including Athimaritis with just one second left to make it 7-4.

Santa Clara wouldn’t go away as they slowly chipped away and finally tied the game at 12-12 with 3:50 left in the fourth quarter. The Lions upperclassmen took over.

Senior Jon Beck scored on a 6-on-5 to retake the lead with 2:50 to play and then redshirt junior Cory McGee added to the lead less than a minute later to give the Lions a 14-12 lead. Santa Clara would score at the 1:04 mark but couldn’t find the equalizer.

The Lions travel to Long Beach State for the final game of the regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Game time is set for 7 pm.

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