CLAREMONT, Calif. — Jason Russum exploded for eight goals, and the University of La Verne men's water polo team opened the Gary Troyer Tournament with a 15-13 win over La Salle Friday morning.
Russum provided the spark the Leopards needed late, scoring four of his goals in the fourth quarter.
With La Verne leading trailing 10-9 heading into the fourth quarter, the Leopards surged for six goals in the period to take their first lead of the game and come away with the win.
Russum tied the game less than a minute into the frame, but La Salle's Jeff Brady responded quickly to put his squad back up by one.
But Tyler Bennett found the back of the cage a minute later to tie the game and spark a 4-0 run by the Leopards.
Russum added a goal with 5:45 left on the clock to give La Verne the lead. Rex Sample followed it up with a goal of his own to put the Leopards up by two. Russum's seventh goal of the game gave La Verne a three-goal cushion.
Two late goals by La Salle and Russum's eighth goal put the final at 15-13. The Leopards outscored La Salle 6-3 in the frame.
Bennett and Sample each added a hat trick in the game. Joshua Vega found the back of the net once.
Game 2: Navy 15, La Verne 9
The Leopards stayed close to the Midshipmen through three quarters, but Navy pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 15-9 win.
After heading into the half down 7-4, La Verne surged in the third quarter to cut the deficit to just one at 9-8 heading into the final period.
But Navy went on a 6-1 run in the period to secure the game.
Castillo finished with a game-high five assists.
Next Game: La Verne continues the Troyer Tournament later today with a 2:15 against Navy.