Feb. 28, 2013
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LOS ANGELES -- The water polo rivalry that is LMU and UC San Diego continues this week as the 13th-ranked LMU women's water polo team heads to 17th-ranked UC San Diego on Friday, March 1 at 6 pm, in a rematch of an earlier match-up, but this one means a little more.
UC San Diego (5-7, 2-0) came from behind to beat the Lions (9-5, 1-0) on Feb. 9, 8-7, scoring in the final seconds in the first game of the Triton Invitational at UC San Diego, in what was a non-conference match-up. This one on Friday is a Western Water Polo Association meeting and will go a long way in establishing seeding for April's WWPA Championships. LMU and UCSD have met for the last two WWPA title games.
The Lions are riding some momentum coming into the match-up, having won three straight and six of seven. The Lions have gone 3-1 in their last two tournaments, including last weekends challenging UC Irvine Invitational where 15 of the 16 teams were ranked.
LMU jumped three spots in this week's national coaches' poll thanks to a ninth place finish at the Invitational. Sophomore Mackenzie Beck has been named the KAP7 WWPA Women's Player of the Week for Feb. 27 after leading the Lions balanced attack to wins over No. 15 CS Northridge, No. 9 San Jose St., and No. 14 UC Davis. Beck finished the tournament with seven goals, including the game winner over the Spartans with two seconds left in the 10-9 victory. She added four assists, 12 kickouts drawn, three steals and four field blocks.
It is all about balance for the Lions, who have three 20-goal scorers on the season and five with 16 or more. Beck leads the Lions with 21 goals, followed by junior Alexandra Honny and senior Jessica Morelos with 20 each. Sophomore Laura Lopez and freshman Ivana Castro each have 16.
But its been more than goals. Honny leads the Lions with 18 assists and 20 steals while Lopez isn't far behind with 14 assists and 11 steals. The Lions have tightened up on defense as well, allowing few shots and then getting solid goaltending from freshman Claire Wright and sophomore Jordan White. The transfer from Indiana, White earned the start in the final day at the UCI Invite, getting the top-10 win over the Spartans and the win over UCD.
The Lions will then have a two-week break before returning home for an eight-game home stand that starts on March 14 against UC Santa Barbara.
- GO LIONS -