Nov. 17, 2005
Los Angeles, CA (Nov. 17) - For the sixth straight year the Loyola Marymount University men's water polo team advance to the Western Water Polo Association Championships semifinals thanks to an 8-5 win over Santa Clara at the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center Thursday afternoon.
The Lions, the second seed in this year's tournament hosted by LMU, used a 4-0 run to start the second half to open up a one-goal game over seventh-seed Santa Clara. The Lions improve to 16-15 on the year while Santa Clara falls to 15-15.
With the win, LMU will face a familiar foe in third-seed UC Davis. The Aggies defeated Air Force 4-2 to advance to the semifinals. The Lions and Aggies split a pair of meetings this season and will play a rematch from last year's semifinal. LMU earned a 7-6 win in overtime at Davis in last year's semifinal to go onto their second straight WWPA title.
The other semifinal on Friday will feature UC San Diego and Redlands, also a rematch from last year. LMU will play at 11:10 a.m. in the first semifinal while UCSD and Redlands will play at 12:30 p.m.
To advance to the semifinals, the Lions earned three goals from both senior Endre Rex-Kiss and junior Matt Reynolds. Ben Easton scored the other two goals for the Lions. Goalie Ian Elliott made nine saves early to allow the Lions make their late run.
The teams traded goals throughout the first two quarters as the Lions took a 4-3 lead into the break. In the first half the Lions never trailed but every time they took a goal lead Santa Clara managed the equalizer. Easton would score with 3:16 left in the first half to give LMU that 4-3 lead. It proved to be the game winner.
Starting the second half, Reynolds took the Lions' first possession and gave them their first multiple goal lead just 23 seconds into the quarter. Rex-Kiss would make the lead 6-3 at the 1:39 mark and then Reynolds would but the dagger into the quarter with a goal with just one second remaining to make it 7-3.
Easton would complete the Lions' 4-0 run to start the second half at the 5:58 mark of the final quarter. Santa Clara added a pair for the final margin.
- GO LIONS -