Blank Quarters Lead Lions to Semifinals

Laura Lopez scored three goals Friday.

April 26, 2013

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The 11th-ranked LMU women's water polo team used first and third quarter shutouts to earn a 14-8 win over Cal State East Bay in the first round of the 2013 Western Water Polo Association Championships at Sullivan Aquatics Center in Santa Clara, Calif., on Friday afternoon.

"We gave up eight goals, but our defense was better than the score shows," said Head Coach Kyle Witt. "We were a little slow to adjust in the water to what they were doing, but we did do a good job, especially after halftime and did what we had to in order to pull away and advance."

The Lions jumped out to a 4-0 lead and then up 8-4 at the half, outscored the Pioneers 5-0 in the third quarter to put the game away. The Lions defense held Cal State East Bay (16-16) to just 3-for-10 on the 6-on-5.

LMU (19-12) got four goals from freshman Ivana Castro and three apiece from sophomores Laura Lopez and Mackenzie Beck.

"Laura did a good job today and was very active, and Claire Wright was very solid in goal, and again the score was not a sign of how well she played," said Witt.

The Lions held a 6-0 lead after Castro's goal just 33 seconds into the second quarter. Cal State East Bay responded to cut the lead to 6-3. After a Lions timeout, they scored a pair of goals to regain the five-goal lead.

"The timeout really helped us adjust to the flow of the game and I thought from there we were able to get our offense and defense going," said Lopez.

The Lions will play host Santa Clara in the second semifinal at 2 pm, Saturday. The first semifinal will feature top-seed UC San Diego taking on No. 4 seed Colorado State at 12:30 pm.





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