LOS ANGELES – Jake Villareal took a pass from senior Collin Walters with 17 seconds remaining and scored from the left of the cage, giving 11th-ranked LMU a 9-8 win against 13th-ranked Air Force in the home finale for the Lions on Saturday.
For the second time in a week, the Lions took a big lead, saw a WWPA rival work back to tie it, only to hold on defensively and score in the final seconds for the win. The Lions did the same to UC Davis last Friday and then on Saturday in a pair of key WWPA showdowns.
The Lions improve to 14-9 on the season and 10-2 in the WWPA while Air Force falls to 15-10 and 8-4.
It was the last home game both for this season, and in the college careers of seniors Jon Colton, Kyle Testman, Matt Venner and Collin Walters. All four had key plays in the win.
The Lions opened the game with a solid first half, taking a 7-3 lead at the break. Freshman Milutin Mitrovic scored three goals to start the game and Colton had a tip-in goal for a 5-2 lead. Mark Menis closed the half with a pair of goals for the four-goal margin.
Testman had eight first-half saves and would finish with 15.
The teams opened the second half trading goals. The Lions led 8-4 with 5:43 to play in the third quarter after Mitrovic had his fourth goal. Air Force kept the Lions off the board for the next 5:26 while scoring four unanswered points, including Josh Stedman’s second with 2:52 to play to tie LMU.
Air Force looked to have the momentum, but Venner and Walters came up with big field blocks and Testman had a big save to keep the game tied and setting up the game-winner.