Big Win Caps Defensive Sweep
Women's water polo knocks off No. 12 Princeton in final game of LMU Invite, earning a weekend sweep.
March 23, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- Defense continued to carry the LMU women's water polo team at the 2013 LMU Invitational, earning another pair of victories, including an impressive 7-5 win over No. 12 Princeton in the tournament finale on Saturday at the Burns Aquatics Center.
The Lions opened the final day with a 13-3 win over Cal State Monterey Bay and with the win over the Tigers, the Lions improve to 15-7 overall and 6-1 in the Western Water Polo Association.
It was all about defense for the Lions, who allowed just 15 goals in the four games, an average of 3.75 per contest. LMU posted five shutout quarters on the weekend and got eight big saves - including a five-meter penalty shot in the first quarter - from freshman goalie Claire Wright in the win over Princeton.
"Our defense was outstanding this weekend. And our defense fuels everything we do," said Head Coach Kyle Witt. "We played at full intensity all weekend and when we do that, our defense can be very hard to deal with. We might make errors when we push that hard, but I can live with that. The result is allowing just under four goals a game. And that is going to help us meet our goals we set each season for LMU water polo."
The Lions experienced leaders in Alexandra Honny and Jessica Morelos paced the Lions' offensive attack in the win over Princeton. Morelos had four goals while Honny had three along with six more steals.
"This might have been the best we have played this season," said Witt. "But we have had big wins this season and have followed with some disappointing setbacks. Its now time to really test ourselves and keep getting better. We have by no means peaked. We are working to get better each day."
Against the Tigers, the Lions shutout the Tigers in the first period but saw Princeton tie the game at 3-3 thanks to a three-goal second.
After the break, the Lions took control with a four-goal run. A goal by Morelos, followed by one from Honny gave the Lions a 5-3 lead. Morelos added another with 4:48 to make it 6-3. They weren't finished, as Honny made it 7-3 with 3:15 left.
The first three goals in the run were on the 6-on-5 as the Lions went 4-for-8 on the man-advantage. There defense took control on that end as well, holding Princeton to just two 6-on-5 goals despite 14 opportunities (2-for-14).
Princeton scored to close the third quarter to make it 7-4. The Lions then fought off six extra-man opportunities before Princeton made it 7-5 with 20 seconds left.
In the opener, the Lions scored four goals in each of the first three quarters and led 12-2 heading into the final frame. Ivana Castro had four goals and Morelos added four more to finish with eight on the day.
The Lions will finish their eight-game home stand when they host No. 1 USC on Thursday, April 4 at 4 pm.