Men’s Water Polo Edged in WWPA Quarterfinals

Men’s Water Polo Edged in WWPA Quarterfinals

WWPA Championship Central

FRESNO, Calif. – Blazo Mitrovic and Alexandros Athymaritis each scored three goals, and Austin Clark had six assists to help propel third-seeded Loyola Marymount to a 12-10 victory over No. 6 seed Santa Clara men's water polo in Friday's quarterfinal action at the Western Water Polo Association Championship.

Patrick Kirk, Reilley May, Shane Hughes and Scott Zurnacian each had two goals to pace the Broncos (10-14) who will play No. 4 seed California Baptist on Saturday for fifth place in the three-day, eight-team event at Clovis West Olympic Aquatics Center.

After trailing by three late in third quarter, the Broncos pulled within 10-9 in the final frame when Kirk set up Sam Toriggino for one of the team's five power play goals.

However, Santa Clara was unable to cash in on a pair of exclusions on LMU (13-13) and Clark set up David Jagga for the eventual game-winner with 2:18 left. Daniel Roth added an insurance goal in the last of four games on the day.

There was only one goal in the first 9 minutes of the game before the teams combined for seven in the following 4 minutes.

Mitrovic had all three of his goals in that stretch, but Hughes was able to score on the power play 23 seconds before halftime to tie the game at 6-all.

Athymaritis tallied a pair of even strength goals late in the third to give the Lions a 10-7.

Santa Clara's top goal producer Mac Carey did not score, but was credited with four assists.

• The Broncos returned to their normal starting lineup of Sam Toriggino, Patrick Kirk, Reilley May, Dane Estrella, Shane Hughes, Mac Carey and Sean Tehaney. Toriggino missed the final two regular season games with an injury and May was out of the lineup for the season finale against Pepperdine on Nov. 4. Tehaney made his 16th-straight start in net.
• May was credited with five earned ejections and now has 76 on the season. The single-season school record is 81 set by Paul Navabpour in 1989.

The Broncos and California Baptist will face off at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday in the fifth-place contest.


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