Dec. 7, 2008
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Fifth-ranked and third-seeded Loyola Maramount (21-10) scored 10 unanswered goals to erase an early and short-lived 1-0 deficit and pull away from No. 11 Navy (20-11) in claiming an 11-4 victory and third-place finish at the NCAA Water Polo Championships on Sunday held at the Avery Aquatic Center on the campus of Stanford University.
The fourth-seeded Midshipmen end their 2008 campaign with a 20-11 record, their third-straight NCAA Final Four appearance and the 14th-overall trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Junior Johnny Meiners (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) scored his 30th goal of the season to open the contest's scoring and put Navy ahead 1-0 just 1:40 into the contest.That lead, however, would last for just 17 seconds as Loyola Maramount evened the score just 17 seconds later with the first of what would turn into 10-consecutive tallies.
The Lions scored three times to take a 4-1 lead after the opening quarter, and then went on to post a five-spot over the second eight-minute period to take a commanding 9-1 advantage into halftime.
Loyola Maramount extended its scoring spree with the first goal of the third quarter before freshman phenom Kyle Wertz (San Diego, Calif.) netted the first of his three second-half tallies.
Wertz concluded a standout first-year campaign with his second hat trick in as many nights, giving him a total of six goals for the weekend and 48 on the season.
Junior Brett Rajchel turned in a valiant effort in goal for the Mids, stopping 11 shots.
The defeat brings a somber end to the collegiate careers of a celebrated six-member Navy senior class led by All-America candidate Michael Mulvey, which made three NCAA trips and produced a 89-30 (.801) over its four-year tenure.
Mulvey scored 62 goals in his fourth and final season for the Mids. He ends the year in at least eighth (assists were not made available) on the Navy single-season scoring list with 104 points.
Top-seeded USC put the finishing touches on an undefeated season at 29-0, topping No. 2 Stanford, 7-5, to capture its fourth NCAA Championship.
NCAA Consolation Final
# 3 Navy - 1 0 1 2 = 4
# 4 LMU - 4 5 1 1 = 11
Navy Goal Scorers: Wertz 3, Meiners
LMU Goal Scorers: Forai 4, Hummel 2, Asasavicius, Benedetti, Fair, Lormant, Milligan
Goalie Saves: Rajchel 11 (USNA); Stevens 12 (LMU)