Lions Advance With Late Winner
Riley Smith scores game winner with five seconds left as Lions advance to WWPA semifinals.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - LMU redshirt junior Riley Smith put a shot under the fingertips of Air Force goalie Max Benson with five seconds left in regulation to lift the Lions to a 9-8 win in the opening round of the 2016 Western Water Polo Association Championships.
The Lions (12-15), who saw Air Force erase a three-goal deficit and tie the game at 8-8 on a five-meter penalty shot with 2:42 to play, took over possession with 34 seconds left and sophomore Daniel Arellano found Riley for the winner. It was Arellano’s second assist on the day, running his program-record total to 67 for the season.
LMU advances to the semifinals and will face the second-seed UC San Diego Tritons on Saturday at 1 pm in Santa Clara.
The Lions got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead on goals from Cory McGee, Edward Moss and Arellano. The teams would trade goals from that point and Arellano’s second goal of the game with just one second left in the third quarter made it 7-4.
Air Force responded with three straight goals to start the fourth quarter. Jack Empey scored his first of two goals in the quarter to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:07 to play.
Senior Jon Beck got the Lions the lead back on the next possession to take an 8-7 lead, setting up the final three minutes.
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