Feb. 10, 2013
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LA JOLLA, Calif. -- The young roster for the LMU women's water polo team showed fourth quarter growth in the final day of the UC San Diego Triton Invitational, getting key goals and a frantic comeback to post a sweep with wins over CSU Bakersfield, 9-8, and No. 10 Michigan, 9-7, at Canyonview Aquatic Center in La Jolla, Calif.
The Lions trailed 8-6 with 7:16 to play in the final quarter against former conference foe CSU Bakersfield but scored the games last three goals, including sophomore Mackenzie Beck's winner with 4:03 to play for a 9-8 win over the Roadrunners.
In the second game on the day, the Lions never trailed in the second half and broke a 7-7 tie with the last two goals of the game for a 9-7 win over Michigan in the final game of the day.
The Lions improve to 6-4 on the season.
"We recovered and took a step forward," said Head Coach Kyle Witt, whose Lions fell in the final seconds in a split on Saturday. "We are so young, we need to learn how to win. We were definitely presented with that this weekend, all four games were close, and that was good for us. And we won three of them. Something you have to learn. Think we have handled it well overall and we have to move past this.
The Lions continue to rely on balance. Junior Alexandra Honny had three goals in the win over Michigan while freshman Ivana Castro had a trio in the win over CSUB.
"The upperclassmen are playing better and learning how to lead. Our underclassmen are learning how to follow and listen. The stats show that everyone played their part. Everything is balanced," said Witt. "That is how it is going to be this season. We finished with a great win against a very good program in Michigan. It was a great way to finish."
Freshman goalie Claire Wright average just under 10 saves a game on the weekend and seven different players scored on Sunday.
In the opener, CSUB jumped out to an early two-goal lead but the Lions would tie the game at 3-3 in the second quarter on a goal from Beck. CSUB took a 5-4 lead at the half and then stretch the lead to 7-5 with 3:52 to play in the third quarter.
The Lions looked to get a big goal at the close of the third by Castro, cutting the lead to 7-6. However, the Roadrunners looked to take control back with a 6-on-5 goal with 7:16 to play, giving them an 8-6 lead.
It was all LMU from there, starting with Castro's third goal with 5:58 to play to make it 8-7. Just 21 seconds later, The Lions tied the game at 9-9 to set-up Beck's winner with 4:03 to play. CSUB didn't get off much of a threat the rest of the way.
In the finale, It was back-and-forth with the Lions tying the game on Honny's first goal with 4:09 to play in the second quarter. Freshman Erin Byrne would give LMU a 5-4 lead heading into the break.
Wright and the Lions defense shutout the Wolverines in the third quarter and added to the lead with Castro's second goal of the game with just 15 seconds left in the quarter.
Michigan scored two straight to tie the game at 6-6. The teams would trade goals as the game would sit tied at 7-7 with 4:34 to play.
Like in the first game of the day, the Lions would own the close of the game, scoring on a goal from Beck with 3:11 to play to take the lead and then Honny's third with 48 to play on a five-meter goal for a two-goal cushion.
LMU will have another two-week layoff before returning to tournament action, playing in the UC Irvine Invitational Feb. 23-24.
- GO LIONS -