The LMU women's water polo team will begin defense of its conference champion when play begins at the 2010 Western Water Polo Association Women's Championships held at Cal State Bakersfield's HIllman Aquatics Center Friday, April 30 - Sunday, May 2. The Lions earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and will open with the winner of No. 8 Cal State San Bernardino and No. 9 Cal State Monterey Bay at 5 p.m. Follow the action all weekend at: http://www.TheWWPA.com/.
INSIDE THE LIONS
With a pair of home wins to close out the regular season, the Lions improved to 24-4 on the season, reaching at least 20 wins for the 10th straight year. This season the Lions have posted a program-record 14-game win streak, are a perfect 8-0 against WWPA foes and finish 10-1 at home, second best mark since the Burns Center opened in 2001. The Lions have won 21 straight against the WWPA. It all started this season when LMU opened the season scoring 57 goals, the most in program history through four games, to start the season 4-0. The previous high was 41 set in 2005, the same year they set the program for goals in a season with 379. The Lions won the Triton Invitational title for the fifth time, playing in the tournament every year since 2002 and winning it in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The Lions have been getting balance this season with seven players with 24 or more goals. Senior and WWPA Player of the Year Anne Scott leads the Lions with 50 goal, while sophomore Kimberly Benedetti is right behind with 43. Junior Mary Ann Campos scored 13 goals the last six games and has 42 on the year. Sophomore Casey Flacks, a second-team All-WWPA selection, ran her total to 31 on the season after scoring 17 the last two weeks. Junior and first-team All-WWPA selection Diana Romero is one behind with 30. Erin Manke, a member of the WWPA All-Freshman team, has contributed 28, while junior Daisy Carillo has 24. Kristine Cato, a first-team All-WWPA selection, has made 275 saves, including 15 in the win over UC Irvine. She is allowing just 6.28 goals per game (which is the best in the nation among goalies with more than 700 minutes played on the season).
PLAYER OF THE WEEK TIMES FIVE
LMU sophomore Kimberly Benedetti led the Lions to a 4-0 start to the 2010 season, earning the UC San Diego Triton Invitational championship in the process. Her efforts have earned her Western Water Polo Player of the Week honors for Feb. 10. With four wins, three coming against ranked opponents, the Lions jumped from No. 10 to No. 7 in this week's national poll. Benedetti finished the weekend leading the Lions with 11 goals, including four against No. 15 UC Davis. She is having a stellar follow-up year to her freshman season a year ago, scoring 41 goals, which is a career high. Anne Scott became the Lions second WWPA Player of the Week in three weeks when she shared the honor after scoring five goals in the win over UC San Diego. She leads the team with 48 goals, adding 15 assists and 18 steals. On March 3, Kristine Cato earned the honor by finishing the four-game weekend at the UCI Invitational with 56 saves, an average of 14 per game. She had a career-best 16 against UC Irvine. She allowed only four goals against CSUN, making 13 saves, including one on a penalty shot. She added two assists and two steals. The fourth Player of the Week honor came on March 25 and went to sophomore Casey Flacks. She led the Lions to a four wins over the weekend, including wins over No. 14 San Diego State and No. 20 Princeton to earn Western Water Polo Player of the Week honors for March 24. Flacks finished the weekend with eight goals, seven assists, 10 kickouts drawn and two steals. She had a career-best five goals in the win over Sonoma State and led the Lions with four kickouts drawn in the win over San Diego State. Flacks has 29 goals, 23 assists, 40 kickouts and 25 steals on the year. Cato gave LMU their fifth with a 15 save performance in an 8-4 win over UCI at the end of the regular season.