April 26, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
Los Angeles, CA -- For the eighth year in a row the Loyola Marymount women's water polo team will be playing the Western Water Polo Association Championship as they advanced thanks to a tough 4-3 win over No. 3 seed UC San Diego in the first semifinal of the 2008 WWPA Women's Championship at the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center.
"From top to bottom that was a very competitive water polo game," said Head Coach John Loughran, whose Lions hit the 20-win mark for the 8th consecutive season, improving to 20-10 on the year. "This was a great team win. Every player stuck to their role and did a nice job in withstanding their run at the end to close out the game."
Nicole Hughes and Sheena Carter scored two goals each to account for the Lions' scoring while the Tritons were led by a pair of goals from Sydney Gstettenbauer.
However, it was defense that ruled the day for both teams. Triton's goalie Kim Hockett had five saves while LMU goalie Eliana Arellano continued her impressive run late in the season with six saves.
"It was another great defensive effort today," said Loughran. "Eli is showing she might be the best goalie in the tournament. Diana (Diana Romero) and Alex (Alex Wike) are playing great defense at two-meter. We missed some opportunities on offense that we will need to fix for tomorrow. But overall, a great effort by our whole team."
The teams did very little offensivly to start the game. The Lions opened the game with a goal from Carter at the 5:40 mark of the first quarter to take the 1-0 lead.
At almost the exact same time of the second quarter, UCSD tied the game at 1-1 when Elizabeth Hahn scored at the 5:35 mark. The Lions answered on the first goal by Hughes with 2:37 to play in the half to take a 2-1 lead. They would never let go of the lead.
The third quarter featured no offense, but the Lions came out to start the fourth scoring as Hughes scored on the first possession, putting LMU up 3-1. Carter then made it a three-goal cushion at the 6:41 mark. They would need it.
UC San Diego made it a two-goal game when Gstettenbauer scored on a 6-on-5 goal to make 4-2 with 5:55 to play. Then the Lions were called for an ejection and then an interference, resulting in a penalty shot. Gstettenbauer who capitalize to amke it a one-goal game with 3:32 to play.
The Lions defense held the rest of the way to set-up the championship. They will face UC Davis in a rematch of the last three title games at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
- GO LIONS -