Defense Does it Again at GCC Tourney
Lions defense allows just one second half goal in win over Santa Clara.
SAN DIEGO - LMU women's water polo once again called on their defense in the Golden Coast Conference Championships, this time holding Santa Clara to just one goal in the second half to lift them to a 7-5 opening round win to start the 2016 tournament on Friday at the Aztec Aquaplex.
The teams combined to score three goals in the first four possessions and the Broncos (10-15) led 2-1 after just a minute and a half into the game. From there, the Lions (12-19) allowed just three goals the last 30 minutes of the game to move them into the semifinals.
"Defense has won our quarter final game before and this is no different. Our willingness to outwork Santa Clara on our defensive end and to help each other was the best it has been all year," said Witt. "Our offense didn't really get going but we got a lot of high quality shots within our system. Hana (Vilanova) putting away the first three goals was great for our team and our nerves."
The Lions will face top-seeded San Diego State in the second semi at 3 pm. LMU improves to 8-0 against their rival Santa Clara in the conference tournament and 24-1 all-time in the series.
Freshman Sky Flores had 11 saves on the game, allowing just a five-meter penalty goal in the third quarter while posting a fourth quarter shutout. The Lions defense also held Santa Clara to 0-for-9 on the 6-on-5 advantage. The Lions went 2-for-4.
The Lions led throughout the third quarter, fighting off two SCU extra attacker opportunities before Elle Surber tied the game with the penalty shot with 1:49 to play. Senior Bridgette Alvarez whold score the would-be game winner with 57 seconds left in third.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Lions had to fight off three more SCU 6-on-5 attacks before Ivana Castro scored an insurance goal with 2:31 left to play in the game.
Freshman Hana Vilanova led the Lions with three goals while Alvarez finished with two. Senior Kingsley Hill had three assists and a two steals for the Lions. Surber had two goals as did Elizabeth Anderson for the Broncos.
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