May 12, 2012
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SAN DIEGO - After allowing two goals on eight shots in the first quarter, seventh-ranked LMU and its defense went to shutdown mode, allowing no goals and just eight shots the final three quarters to earn a 12-2 win over Pomona-Pitzer in the consolation semifinal of the 2012 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions trailed 2-1 with 2:53 to play in the first quarter but then scored 11 unanswered while allowing just eight shots on goal the final 26 minutes of the game to advance to Sunday's fifth place game against Princeton at 1:45 p.m., at San Diego State's Aztec Aquaplex.
Sophomore Alexandra Honny had six goals and a program-record 11 steals, while junior Erin Manke had five goals and four steals to pace the Lions. Morgan Bonk added the Lions other goal and goalie Elise Ponce made seven saves, including another on a penalty shot in the fourth quarter.
"We came out really slow once again to start the game, which is a great concern," said Head Coach Kyle Witt. "But we continued to work the game plan and really never let up on our defense. I was really proud of how we did not stop defensively, and any time you allow just two goals in the NCAAs is a good thing. You are doing something right."
Honny's goal with 2:28 to play in the first quarter tied the game at 2-2 and then her goal with 6:05 to play in the second quarter gave the Lions the lead for good. LMU added two more in the second to take a 5-2 lead at the half, and then scored four in the third to stretch the lead to 9-2.
In the fourth, Honny gave the Lions a 10-2 lead with 6:48 to go in the game, and then at the 4:55 mark Ponce stop the five-meter penalty shot to keep the Sagehens scoreless in the second half. Honny and Manke added the final two goals.
Follow the Lions' final game of the season live on NCAA.com.
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