Men set for final splash at tourney
|Posted Nov. 9, 2007|
The La Verne men's water polo teamed wrapped up their regular season with disappointing back-to-back losses.
On Saturday the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen defeated La Verne, 13-12, with seconds remaining in overtime. The following day, the Leopards fell to Air Force, 12-6.
“The most difficult aspect of this team is not the lack of passion,” said head coach Alex La. “It's the lack of control of our emotions, and the men get too caught up in the moment, that we lose focus.”
After the losses the Leopards’ overall record fell to 4-19.
However, ULV put up a fight against Cal Lu. Junior two-meter player Vince MaKuch led the leopards offense with six goals, including four fourth-quarter scores to help send the game into overtime. But with seconds winding down, the game was forced into overtime.
La Verne sophomore Jaime Beltran scored first, giving them the overtime lead.
The Kingsmen tied the game with just over a minute left, and Cal Lu’s Wesley Lewis chipped in the crucial game winner with only two seconds remaining.
“I don't think the problem is finishing the games, it's starting them,” La said.
“We are always having to play catch-up,” Duncan Cox, senior two-meter player said.
With the loss to Cal Lu, La Verne finished its Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record at 1-6.
“Our record doesn't reflect our season,” MaKuch said. “Instead it shows in our score that we were right there with everyone else.”
Yet, the men still had another game to play the following day.
Sunday was senior day at the La Verne Aquatic Center, where the five Leopard seniors were honored. Unfortunately they were not able to finish with the win as No. 16 Air Force Academy shot them down, 12-6.
The Leopards got off to a shaky start as they watched Air Force outscore them, 7-2, by halftime.
La Verne posted four goals in the second half, but was unable to make up the six-goal difference.
With these losses added to their book, the men still have the SCIAC Tournament to look forward to this weekend.
This ULV team has the best shooter in the conference, one of the fastest swimmers, and most successful goalies, but learning to control their attitude has been their downfall.
But with SCIAC on the line, the Leopards will get a second chance to advance.
“It will be exciting,” Cox said. “We all have the desire to win.”
Jennifer Gilderman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.