Nov. 17, 2012
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LOS ANGELES -- With three fourth quarter thrilling wins in the last 18 days, the LMU men's water polo team saw it happen to them, falling to 13th-ranked Air Force in the second semifinal of the 2012 Western Water Polo Association Men's Championships at Whittier's Shade Aquatic Center Saturday afternoon.
The Lions erased a pair of two-goal deficits only to see Air Force's Brad Rajchel score his fourth goal of the game with 3:31 to play in the fourth quarter to lift the Falcons to the WWPA Championship against UC San Diego on Sunday.
Seth Coldren led the Lions with three goals and Milutin Mitrovic and Matt Stipanovich added a pair each for the Lions, who fall to 16-10 overall and 11-3 in the WWPA. They will face UC Davis in the third place game at 12:30 p.m., Sunday.
Collin Walters and Coldren gave the Lions a quick 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. After Air Force made it 2-1, Coldren made it 3-1 with 4:25 to play in the opening frame.
Air Force would then score three straight goals in less than two minutes to take a 4-3 lead with 2:22 to play. Mitrovic would then tie the game with 25 seconds left to complete an eight goal quarter.
The Falcons responded with a pair of goals to start the second quarter to take a 6-4 lead. Stipanovich would cut the lead to one, 6-5, with just 15 seconds to play in the first half.
LMU looked to take advantage of the swing, scoring the first goal of the third quarter, another one by Coldren, to tie the game at 6-6.
But Air Force responded once again, scoring two more straight for the 8-6 lead. The trend of the game continued, as the Lions scored two straight on goals by Stipanovich and Mark Menis to tie the game at 8-8.
Air Force took a 9-8 lead on a goal by Rajchel with 5:42 to play in the game. LMU answered one last time on a goal by Mitrovic to tie it at 9-9, setting up Rajchel's winner on a 6-on-5 attack the next possession.
Follow the championships at WWPA Championship Central.
- GO LIONS -