Water Polo Looks to Youth in WWPA Championships

Freshman Matt Cuozzo and the Lions face Air Force to open the WWPAs.

Nov. 20, 2013

The Last Meeting
#20 Air Force13
Loyola Marymount16
October 27, 2013
Burns Center
Lions Use 10-2 Run For WWPA Win
Trailing 5-4 to start the second quarter, 13th-ranked LMU went on a 10-2 run including a clip of five straight to earn a 16-13 win over No. 20 Air Force in Western Water Polo Association play at the Burns Aquatics Center on Sunday afternoon.

John Loughran prior to the 2013 WWPA Championships.">

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LOS ANGELES -- Heading into the 2013 water polo season, Head Coach John Loughran knew he would have to ask some of his young players to play key roles. With their growth throughout the season and key injuries throughout the line-up, that youth has been leaned on even more than expected as the Lions head into the 2013 Western Water Polo Association Championship starting Friday on the campus of UC Davis.

Of the 24-man roster, 20 of them are underclassmen. Three true freshman have found their way into the starting line-up, including WWPA Newcomer of the Year Cory McGee and fellow WWPA All-Freshman selection Matt Cuozzo. In addition, redshirt freshmen who were expected to play back-up roles have moved their way into big minutes, including second-team All-WWPA goalie Kirk Wilenius.

They will be looked to as the Lions face defending WWPA champion Air Force in the opening day of the 2013 tournament at 12:15 pm on Friday, Nov. 22.

LMU Sports Network talked with Loughran about the upcoming WWPA championships, the growth of his young team and the parity that exists in the conference this season.

Sophomore Milutin Mitrovic led the Lions with 62 goals, ranking second in the WWPA. Fellow sophomore Vuk Cvetkovic, who has missed the last seven games due to injury, is second on the team with 25. Another sophomore, Emanuel Di Stasio has 23 goals, followed by McGee and junior Joe Ferretti with 20 goals.

The other opening our match-up includes Santa Clara taking on California Baptist at 2 pm. Top-seed UC Davis awaits the lowest advancing seed for a 12:15 pm semifinal on Saturday, followed by No. 2 UC San Diego taking on the highest advancing seed at 2 pm


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