No. 13 Tritons Win Big in Back-to-School Opener Against No. 19 LMU

The No. 13 UC San Diego Tritons took on No. 19 Loyola Marymount University Wednesday night in their home opener at Canyonview Aquatic Center. Following a tough weekend in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Invitational (1–3) last weekend and looking to improve their 4–10 overall record, UCSD wasted no time in its victory. With 1,500 fans in attendance on a brisk night in La Jolla, the Tritons prevailed in a 15–5 win over the Lions.

After beating LMU 8–5 at the MPSF Invitational in Los Angeles, UCSD piled onto its all-time series domination, increasing its lead to 58–25.

Senior hole set Arman Momdzhyan, put the Tritons on the board early, scoring on a pass from sophomore utility player Skyler Munatones 45 seconds into the first quarter. The Lions responded quickly on a power play but it was not long before UCSD began to pull away. Momdzhyan would go on to complete a hat trick alongside junior utility Kevin Asplund, the two alone contributing a combined six goals and three steals for the Tritons.

Leading 5–2 after the first eight minutes, UCSD refused to settle. Munatones executed on a penalty shot with 3:22 remaining in the half for the first of his two goals, later on recording five assists and two steals as well. Utility Alessandro Valania also scored on a skip shot off a counter attack to send the Tritons into the locker room with an 8–3 cushion at halftime.

UCSD came out scoring seven more goals after the break, successfully capitalizing on all four power play opportunities. Momdzhyan nailed the top right corner to finalize his three-goal night about a minute into the third quarter.

On top of their offense performance, the Tritons also put on a show defensively. Freshman attacker, Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt collected a team-high of four steals. Junior goalie Sam Thompson snagged three steals of his own beyond his 12 saves. And seven other Tritons tallied at least one steal to ensure the defeat.

Ahead by seven heading into the fourth, Turnbow-Lindenstadt padded the lead with his second goal of the night. With five minutes to play and a promising score of 14–4, UCSD was in the driver’s seat. The Tritons continued their clean defense and crisp passing until the final buzzer sounded. The Lions were given chances early but could not hold off the strong Triton offense.

UCSD will face LMU once again next Friday, Oct. 6 in Los Angeles with hopes of extending their perfect 2–0 record in Western Water Polo Association play.

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