Dec. 7, 2003
STANFORD, Calif. -
The Loyola Marymount Lions claimed third-place honors at the 2003 NCAA Men's Water Polo Tournament after a 10-7 victory over Navy in the consolation finals on Sunday at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center.
"I thought, top to bottom, in the game offensively we scored goals when we needed to," LMU head coach John Laughran said. "Endre Rex-Kiss stepped up real big. Our six on five was really working. Tamas Szego had a great couple of goals early in the game and I thought Ryan Chapatte had a great game as well on offense."
Playing behind for most of the game, Navy (25-8) came within one on two different occasions but couldn't get over the hump, as LMU (17-14) hung on for the victory.
"My congratulations go out to Loyola Marymount on a really good season," Navy head coach Mike Schofield said. "They did a great job defensively. Their perimeter shooting was the difference in the game. We played extremely hard like always, but we got ahead of ourselves on a couple of scoring opportunities and didn't cash in."
Junior Alex Ratcliffe gave Navy a quick 1-0 lead on the Mids' opening possession, taking a pass from Jordan Gentry to net the power-play goal.
The Lions roared back and proceeded to score the next four goals, two each by Tamas Szego and Ryan Chapatte, to take a 4-1 lead. Navy senior Joe Donahue, who led the Mids with three scores, used a great no-look shot to find the back of the cage with 13 seconds left in the opening quarter.
LMU standout Endre Rex-Kiss put home a rebound on a power play in the second quarter before Navy trimmed the lead to one. Gentry used a perfect pass from sophomore Joseph Smutz and scored on a one-timer and then Donahue converted on a penalty shot to make it 5-4. Chapatte gave LMU a 6-4 halftime advantage when he scored a power-play goal from the wing with 15 seconds left in the half.
The Mids rallied in the third quarter. On a counter attack, Donahue took a pass from Ratcliffe and registered his third score of the game, while Chapatte answered on another power play opportunity. Just 30 seconds later with the shot clock winding down, Navy team captain Tim Fox found the back of the net on a cross-cage shot with 2:24 left in the third period.
Rex-Kiss scored to end the third and open the fourth quarter, giving the Lions a 9-6 lead. Ratcliffe scored his second goal of the game with 4:03 remaining, but the Mids couldn't get any closer.
Navy goalie Patrick McCreary made three blocks and grabbed two steals, while LMU goalie Ian Elliot came up big with 14 blocks. LMU was 6-for-8 on power play opportunities, while Navy went 4-for-9.