Defense Key As WWPA Championships Begin
Lions will once again rely on defense as it begins defense of its WWPA title on Friday against Cal State East Bay.
April 25, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- In its nine wins to close the 2013 season, the 11th-ranked LMU women's water polo team allowed 28 goals, good for just 3.11 goals against per contest. And the Lions will lean on that defense as they head into the 2013 Western Water Polo Association Championships at Santa Clara's Sullivan Aquatics Center.
The Lions will open with Cal State East Bay on Friday, Apr. 26 at 12:30 p.m. Its the third game of the opening day, which will begins at 9:30 am with No. 1 UC San Diego taking on No. 8 CS San Bernardino. Game two will feature No. 4 Colorado State taking on No. 5 Sonoma State at 11 am. The final game features host and No. 3 seed Santa Clara facing No. 6 CS Monterey Bay.
Defense has been the key to the Lions' and their championship runs and for Head Coach Kyle Witt it will be more the same this year. "Our defense has been getting better as the season has come to a close," said Witt. "Last year our offense struggled but it was our defense that won us the title. I see that trend happening in this year's tournament."
The Lions lead the WWPA in goals against at 7.33 while lowering that number to 4.71 against conference foes. They have been even better of late, allowing just 3.11 goals a game in their last nine wins, including an 8-2 win over Santa Clara and a 12-3 win over CS Monterey Bay on Apr. 6 at The Bronco.
Freshman Claire Wright has allowed just under three goals a game in the last nine wins for the Lions and has made 173 saves while allowing just over 7.7 goals overall on the season.
LMU continues to have balance on the offensive side with junior Alexandra Honny leading the way with 62 goals, 35 assists and WWPA-best 78 steals. Four other Lions have 30 or more goals this season, including senior Jessica Morelos with a career-best 42.
The Lions are the No. 2 seed in the 2013 WWPA Championships, which begin on Friday at Santa Clara's Sullivan Aquatics Center. The Lions open with No. 7 seed CSU East Bay at 12:30 p.m.