Over the weekend, the Men’s Water Polo team took part in the So Cal Invitational. The Lions co-hosted the tournament with UCLA, featuring 16 teams in total. The competition lasted three days, playing out a total of 32 matches.
LMU kicked off tournament play with a match against number four ranked University of the Pacific on Friday, September 27. The Lions fell behind early, conceding three straight goals to Pacific before calling a timeout. The timeout still could not stop the Powercats' momentum, however, as they went on to score a fourth less than a minute later.
The Lions finally managed to put themselves on the board through freshman attacker Jonny Rimlinger, who scored LMU’s first goal with a little over three minutes remaining in the first period. The Powercats would continue to dominate, securing a comfortable 10-4 advantage by the conclusion of the second period.
Pacific would never relinquish their lead, eventually securing a 19-11 victory over their LMU hosts. The Lions continued tournament play against number 14 Princeton University at home once again on Saturday.
LMU started off much stronger in this match. Going toe to toe with Princeton, they matched their opponents' pace. During the first two periods, the two squads exchanged goals back and forth with no side able to firmly hold onto a lead.
Around halfway through the third period, the Lions finally managed to grasp onto a lead. With the Lions up by three, junior Daniel Roth scored LMU’s twelfth goal of the affair, giving the home team a four goal advantage. Princeton would not give in so easy, however. The Tigers kept at LMU’s heels, keeping their deficit at a modest one to three goals throughout the fourth. Despite the visitor’s efforts, LMU would hold onto its lead. The match finished 15-13 in the Lions favor.
LMU would play another match just a short few hours later that day against number nine UC Davis, only playing for consolation at this point. Once again, the Lions found themselves embroiled in a close match. Outside of less than a thirty second lead in the first period, the visiting Mustangs were on top for the entirety of the game. The Lions kept things interesting, though, never letting themselves slip too far behind. The game finished with UC Davis up 18-16, handing LMU their second loss of the tournament.
The Lions' last match of the tournament against UC Irvine proved to be a resounding finale to their so far disappointing weekend. LMU scored seven goals in a little over a minute span about halfway through the first period, roaring ahead of their opponents. Junior attacker David Carrasco contributed three of these all on his own.
This impressive span put the Lions in a commanding position over their opponents. UCI was able to cut their deficit down to four goals on multiple occasions, but they could never complete their comeback. LMU won the match by a score of 14-10.
With the ultra-competitive So Cal tournament in the books, Men’s Water Polo will look to continue their season against Navy at home this Sunday at 10:30 a.m.