What A Saturday
It was a memorable weekend for Loyola Marymount athletics thanks to a 5-0 Saturday.
Nov. 21, 2004
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Nov. 21) - In college athletics, cool, crisp, Fall days usually bring memories of football glory. However, for Loyola Marymount University athletics, this past Saturday will long be a memorable one as the program had one of its more successful single days in athletic history.
LMU finished Saturday, Nov. 20 going a perfect 5-0 in head-to-head competition. Of late, having LMU teams go undefeated on a single day is not really new. It was the type of games that were played and how they were won all on the same day that brought it some extra meaning as men's water polo, men's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball and women's volleyball claimed wins through total team efforts.
The day started at high noon with the men's soccer field hosting Cal State Northridge in the first round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament at Sullivan Field. The two teams played two years ago and all the talk was on that one game and the Matadors were trying to use it as motivation.
For the first half, it seemed to work as CSUN had a 7-0 edge in shots. However, the Lions' entire defense kept it scoreless and as the teams switched sides, so to did the momentum. The Lions used their home court advantage, dominated the second half of play and left an impression on the more than 1,000 at Sullivan Field that they, from top to bottom on the roster, would not be denied. Final Result: LMU 1, CSUN 0.
The win puts the Lions in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year as they will take on a familiar foe in UCLA. It will be the third time in four years the cross-town rivals will meet in the NCAAs. The game will be played in Westwood at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
As the men's soccer team wrapped up the NCAA Tournament win, the women's basketball team took the court in a tournament hosted by Nevada-Reno. The Lions used a balanced attack in the first half, getting their first points from four different players. They then turned to a stifling defense that held the Titans with out a field goal for over 10 minutes to post the season's first win. Final Result: LMU LMU 67, CS Fullerton 58.
As the women celebrated their first win, the men's basketball team entered halftime of their game against Monmouth, a team Sports Illustrated had just listed as a tournament lock for the upcoming season.Featuring a more athletic team with just one senior, the Lions posted an early three-point lead at the break thanks to trademark defense that led to 10 points of turnovers.
The second half saw the balanced Lions attack force more turnovers and run out to a 16-point lead. All 10 players that entered the game scored and they finished with 52 points in the second half, the most in over three years to knock off Monmouth. It was the first time since 1994 the Lions opened the season against a team that went to the NCAA tournament the season prior and the first time in school history the Lions claimed a win in that type of match-up. Final Result: LMU 83, Monmouth 70.
As the men's basketball team wrapped up another home opener victory (5-0 under Steve Aggers), the result of the men's water polo game became public as they continued to make it a special day for Lions' fans.
The Lions were playing in their fifth straight Western Water Polo Association championship game, taking on a team in Redlands team that just two weeks prior defeated the Lions at the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center.
The Lions, as they have done most the season, fought from behind and took a two-goal lead in the second half. Despite having one of the top goal scorers in the nation, the Lions success all season has come on a balanced attack. It was no different against Redlands as five different Lions scored six goals to claim their third WWPA Championship in four years and their second straight to advance the final four of the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championships in two weeks. Final Result: LMU 6, Redlands 3.
To close out the day, the women's volleyball team was taking on rival and 23rd-ranked Santa Clara to close out play in the West Coast Conference. It was also said to be an important game for the Lions and their bid to make yet another NCAA Tournament.
After dropping a tough game one, the Lions rebounded on senior day to cap a perfect day of Lions' athletics. Four different players earned double figure kills as the Lions took the final three games from the Broncos to finish ahead of Pepperdine for fourth place in the WCC standings and make a stronger case for the NCAA Tournament. Final Result: LMU 3, Santa Clara 1.
As the doors to Gersten Pavilion shut for the day, the dust settled on more than nine hours of competition for five of LMU's 17 varsity sport programs. While the Lions are poised to have better days to come for all of its programs, it was a day to remember for LMU athletics as a whole, thanks in large part to, well, everyone, as each individual played a major role in the Lions' 5-0 day.
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