Fierce Rally Falls Just Short
Lions, down four entering final quarter, get chance in final seconds to send game into overtime but can’t finish fierce comeback.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - It was another classic between LMU and UC San Diego in the Western Water Polo Association Championships. The 2016 version came in the semifinals and saw LMU erase all but one goal of a four-goal deficit.
LMU (12-16) would regain possession down one with 30 seconds to go but couldn’t get a shot on net as the 14th-ranked Tritons (15-7) escaped with an 8-7 win in the second semifinal on Saturday.
The Lions, who held UCSD without a goal the final eight minutes of the game, trailed 8-4 entering the final quarter. It looked like both defenses would hold and UCSD would cruise to the win.
However, the Lions would score three goals in just over a minute to cut it to a one goal lead.
Alex Athimaritis scored his second goal of the game with 2:28 to play to make it 8-5. Then 23 seconds later senior Jon Beck scored to make it 8-6. The three-goal run was capped by redshirt junior Cory McGee when he scored with 1:20 to play to make it 8-7.
The Lions’ defense held again and they took a timeout with 44 seconds to play. The Lions ran a play into two-meter for first-team All-WCC selection Dayne Jagga. However, UCSD’s defense forced a ball under to secure the win.
Junior Dominick Beaudine had nine saves for the Lions while Daniel Arellano added three more assists to move his season total to 70. Six different Lions scored, including Eric Reitmeir who had a goal and two assists with a steal.
The Lions will play in the third place game against California Baptist at 11:15 am in Santa Clara.
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