A Sudden Advance

Kirk Wilenius

Nov. 22, 2013

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DAVIS, Calif. -- Freshman Jon Beck scored with 1:03 left in the fourth overtime period to lift LMU to a 11-10 win over Air Force in the first game of the 2013 Western Water Polo Association Men's Water Polo Championship on Friday afternoon at Schaal Aquatics Center on the campus of UC Davis.

The Lions (13-13) advance to the WWPA semifinals for the 14th straight year and will face host and top-seed UC Davis in the first semifinal at 12:15 pm. The other semifinal features No. 2 UC San Diego taking on No. 3 Santa Clara, who earned a 10-9 win over California Baptist in the second game on Friday.

LMU's young roster provided the lift for the Lions, scoring 10 of the 11 goals and getting 11 big saves from redshirt freshman goalie Kirk Wilenius. None bigger than his save at the end of regulation.

Redshirt freshman Liam Jennis scored his second goal of the game with 3:35 to play in the fourth quarter to give the Lions a 10-8 lead. Air Force would then roar back on the backs of their 6-on-5 attack. They scored an extra-man goal with 2:16 to play to cut the lead to 10-9 and then against with just 50 seconds left to tie it at 10-10 on Andrew Hamilton's third goal of the game.

The Falcons gained possession on last time in the final seconds and drew a five-meter penalty. On the resulting penalty shot, Wilenius made the save on the skip shot to send the game into overtime.

In water polo, the teams play two three-minute overtime periods. If still tied, which it was thanks to the Lions stopping two more 6-on-5 chances of the Falcons, it goes to sudden-death periods. Neither team was able to generate a goal in the third overtime frame, so a second sudden-death overtime period was needed, setting up Beck's winner.

It was Beck's lone goal of the game. Sophomore Milutin Mitrovic, freshman Matt Cuozzo, and Jennis each had two goals for the Lions.




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