Stretch Against Nation's Best Continues
Lions to play No. 6 UCSB in first round of NorCal Invitational, which features 14 of the nation's top-20.
Sept. 13, 2007
The 11th-ranked Loyola Marmount University men's water polo team continues its stretch of road games against the nation's best this week as they head to the tradition-rich NorCal Invitational hosted by Cal on Sept. 15-16. The NorCal once again has a line-up of the nation's best as 14 of the 16 teams in this year's field are ranked in this week's top-20. The Lions start the tournament with seventh-ranked UC Santa Barbara at the Spieker Aquatics Center on Saturday at 9:20 a.m.
INSIDE THE LIONS
LMU has started the season 2-4 after taking fifth place at the 2007 UC San Diego Triton Invitational and dropping a pair of close affairs to two of the top-three teams in the nation - No.1 USC and No. 3 UCLA. The Lions were tied with UCLA 6-6 heading into the fourth frame on Sept. 6 before falling 8-6 and then two days later fell 9-4 against the top-ranked Trojans. Junior Julien Lormant and freshman Tibor Forai are tied for the team lead in goals with eight each. Lormant had a hat-trick against USC while Forai went for a pair. Also scoring twice against the Trojans was redshirt freshman Andrew Aki. He has four goals on the year. Third on the team in scoring is junior Tim Heafner with seven. The youth movement continues in goal for the Lions as redshirt freshman Andy Stevens has 64 saves already this season. He had a career-best 13 against both Pepperdine and USC.
The Lions match-up against UCLA will end up being the only home game in the month of September. LMU, who has won 71 percent at the six-year old Burns Aquatics Center, will play eight games all against nationally ranked opponents before returning home. The Lions will return on Oct. 4 when they take on Long Beach State. LMU will then play five more away from Burns when they travel to Berekely for the SoCal Invitational Oct. 13-14 and then end the road swing with UC Irvine on Oct. 18. When the Lions finally return home on Oct. 20, they will have played 17 of their first 19 games on the road.
LMU has been placed in Bracket B of the 2007 NorCal Open. They are the three seed in the backet, which also includes top-seed and second-ranked Cal, second seed and seventh-ranked UCSB and fourth-seed and 17th-ranked Air Force. The Lions will open with UCSB on Saturday at 9:20 a.m. They will play at the Spieker Aquatics Center. Other teams in the field include: Backet A - No. 1 USC, No. 14 UC San Diego, No. 9 Long Beach State and UC Santa Cruz; Bracket C - No. 3 UCLA, No. 6 Pepperdine, No. 8 UC Davis and Santa Clara; Backet D - No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 UC Irvine, No. 10 Navy and No. 16 Pacific. Backets B and C are at the Spieker Center while Brackets A and D are at the Bill Brown Aquatic Center at Miramonte High School.
Playing their home opener in front of a near capacity crowd, the LMU saw their bid to knock-off No. 3 UCLA come just short as the Bruins scored a pair of late goals for an 8-6 win at the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center. LMU junior Julien Lormant scored with 7:03 remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 6-6. However, the Bruins drew an ejection and then scored on a goal from Marco Santos to take the lead with 5:49 remaining. Then with 4:01 left, Behn Hohl capitalized on a 5-meter called on the Lions to give them the two-goal lead. Lormant would finish the game with three. Playing their second opponent ranked in the nation's top-five in the last three days, the LMU continued to give those teams fits, pushing USC before falling 9-4 on the road on Saturday afternoon.LMU was led by freshman Tibor Forai and redshirt freshman Andrew Aki with a pair of goals. However, they could not overcome the top-ranked Trojans experienced attack to fall to 2-4 on the season.
Senior Ian Elliott and Brian McShane of the Loyola Marymount men's water polo team ended their careers at LMU with high honors as the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) named them to the 2006 All-American teams. Elliott earns third team honors while McShane took home honorable mention honors. It is a repeat appearance for both Elliott and McShane as they earned honorable mention All-American honors a year ago. Elliott and McShane were a part of a combined five Western Water Polo Association championships and five trips to the NCAA tournament in their careers at LMU. Elliott led the NCAA in saves with 323, better than 10.8 per game. He earned his career high with 17 saves in a single game three times on the year and allowed just 7.7 goals per game in 2006. He also led the team in steals with 46 and added 11 assists. McShane was one of the top two-meter players in the country and led the Lions with 83 kickouts drawn, the second time in three seasons he was over 80. He led the team in goals with 43, giving him 110 in his career. That mark is ranked 15th all-time at LMU.
LMU's Ian Elliott and Brain McShane were named First-Team All-WWPA while Matt Reynolds earned second-team honors and Cutberto Hernandez earned honorable mention honors. For Elliott, it was his fourth straight first-team All-WWPA honor, making him one of just five student-athletes in LMU history to achieve the honor. Elliott was one of the nation's leaders in saves with 323. He finishes his career with 1,146 saves, all-time best in LMU history.
The 2007 Western Water Polo Association announced the 2006 Men's Water Polo and 2007 Women's Water Polo All-Academic Teams. The team consists of members who were one of the top-10 student-athletes on the respective institutions' team, carried a 3.0 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale), classified a fulltime student who has completed a minimum of one semester or two quarters at his institution. There were eight members of the Loyola Marymount men's and women's water polo teams on this year's All-Academic squad. On the men's side, junior Shaun Flood, sophomore Tim Heafner and Julien Lormant were named to the Men's All-Academic team. All three will be the leaders of the Lions' squad heading into the 2007 season. Heafner is a Business Administration major with a 3.68 GPA while Flood and Lormant each have 3.03 GPAs. Flood is a Biology major with Lormant is the Television Production program.
Loyola Marymount's John Prunckle and Tim Heafner were named by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association to the 2006 All-American Academic Team. The ACWPC honors student-athletes who demonstrated excellence in the classroom as well as in the pool. In his second full season of water polo at LMU, Heafner finished the 2006 season playing in every game after playing in just nine the year before as a true freshman. He became a clutch player for the Lions, scoring 11 goals as one of the first players of the bench. He added 18 steals, 11 assists and 17 kickouts drawn. Heafner is a Business Administration major with a 3.68 grade points average and earned Superior Academic All-America honors by the AWPCA. Prunckle earned Excellent honors with a 3.33 GPA as a Mechanical Engineering major. He finished his third season with the Lions, holding an 8.0 goals against average as a goalie.
In the past 11 years, Head Coach John Loughran has been going about his business in developing the Loyola Marymount water polo programs (both the men and women) into one of the nation's best. Loughran has won 10 conference titles in his time at LMU, taking six in seven years for the women's team and four in the last six years for the men. He also earned WWPA Coach of the Year honors in 2005, his seventh coach of the year honor at LMU (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 for women; 2001, 2003, 2005 for men). He has posted an overall record of 173-138 (.560) for the men's team in 10-plus seasons, ranking him as the program's all-time winningest coach. He has also earned a record of 223-88 (.717) with the women's water polo program.
Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center
Since it opened in the fall of 2000 as the home of LMU aquatics, the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center has seen 10 championships and the two water polo teams combine for 109 wins in just six short seasons. The Lions have thrived in the state-of-the-art facility, earning a record of 109-30 in six seasons. The men's team went 7-3 in 2005 and 1006, and have compiled a record of 55-24 (.701) during its stay at the Center.
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