No. 8 Waves Hold on to Capture First Wells Fargo PCH Cup Points in 8-7 Victory Over Rival No. 10 Loyola Marymount
MALIBU, Calif. - No. 8 Pepperdine men's water polo held on to an 8-7 victory over rival No. 10 Loyola Marymount, despite a last-second attempt by the Lions to tie things up. Two big goals by sophomore Marko Madarasin the final quarter pushed things out of the reach of the Lions, who had hung tight with the Waves through three quarters.
In addition to Madaras' (Eger, Hungary/Golden West College) two goals, senior Stephen Loomis (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo HS) led the Waves (3-0) with a hat trick. Senior Matthew DeTrane (Moraga, Calif./Diablo Valley College) finished with two goals, including a key finish in the fourth quarter. Senior center Spencer Hamby(Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) rounded out the Waves' scoring with one.
Goalkeeper Bence Valics(Eger, Hungary/Eszerbet Secondary) was again stellar in the cage for the Waves, tallying 10 saves. The junior has had double-digit save totals in every contest so far this season.
On the game, interim co-head coach Merrill Moses said, "We had some key players in foul trouble today, but the whole team put a great effort in and contributed. I think at the end we had some mental lapses at after going up three goals and we will work on making sure that doesn't happen again, but it is a great win in my first game this season. The team played great."
Both the Waves and the Lions (1-1) started out slowly, but the visitors got on the board first, as freshman Milutin Mitrovic netted a goal with 4:37 left in the first quarter. Hamby quickly responded for the Waves, with a score of his own from two-meters less than 30 seconds later to tie things up 1-1. The Waves then extended that lead with 1:57 left in the quarter as Loomis' first goal of the day found the back of the net to give the team a 2-1 lead heading into the first break.
1:45 into the second half, the Lions converted a 6-on-5 situation to tie things up at 2-2. The Lions took their first lead of the day with 4:50 left in the second quarter after converting a penalty shot. Pepperdine answered with a penalty shot of their own by Loomis with 3:33 left to tie the game up, 3-3. With two minutes left in the half, the Lions' Peter Olson put away his first goal of the day to give the visitors a 4-3 lead heading into the break.
The first time the Waves have been down at halftime all season, they came out swinging in the second half. Just 27 seconds into the third quarter, DeTrane caught the Lions' defense off guard and put away an easy goal to tie things up, 4-4. Loomis collected his third goal of the game with 2:44 left in the quarter to put the Waves up again, 5-4. The Waves' defense held tight throughout the quarter, punctuated by a huge save by Valics with 16 seconds left in the quarter.
The Waves took their 5-4 lead into the final frame, but saw the Lions' Mitrovic tie things up at 5-5 with 7:16 left in the game. That was when the Waves' offense took over, as the Waves scored three unanswered goals from the 5:31 mark to the 4:23 mark in the fourth quarter, to take an 8-5 lead.
However, the Lions were not going to go down without a fight, and netted two unanswered goals of their won in a minute and a half to pull within one, 8-7 with 2:30 left in the game. Valics again came up with a strong save and Tommy Briskey(Orinda, Calif./California) had a huge block with 30 seconds left to preserve the Waves' 8-7 lead. The Lions had the ball with three seconds left, but were unable to push through the tying goal before the final buzzer and the Waves took the first Wells Fargo PCH Cup points of the season with a 8-7 victory.
The Waves are awarded one point in the yearly head-to-head Wells Fargo PCH Cup challenge with crosstown rival Loyola Marymount.
DeTrane and Madaras led the Waves with two assists apiece and Mike Traggit (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS), Detrane and Hamby each had one steal in the victory.
Next weekend the Waves will be in action in Stanford, Calif. at the NorCal Tournament, beginning Saturday, Sept. 15.
Pepperdine 8, Loyola Marymount 7