Lancers water polo played the East Los Angeles College (ELAC) Huskies Wednesday afternoon in a SCC game, earning an unnerving win (18-16).
At the start of the game, the homefront made a strong advance towards the Huskies as Lancer center fielder Zuri Pulido, who made four shots throughout the game and has a shooting percentage of 0.75 according to PCC athletics, kept throwing long strong passes at her teammates eventually allowing the Lancers to score. There was a minor uncertainty of where players should pass the ball on both teams provided that ELAC had a strong defense.
Lancers head coach Terry Stoddard was expecting the match to be a tough one because he knew ELAC was going to come out aggressively. “I was pretty confident in our sophomores since this is their last home game,” said Stoddard. “I knew they would come up and step up in their role.”
Both the Lancers and Huskies kept tying up the scores and Lancer utility Camila Grases amped up the crowd for the last five seconds of the first quarter but inevitably fell behind with ELAC leading 6-4.
“We have a problem warming up for the game and end up getting more aggressive throughout the game,” said Captain Sophia Woods. “We should just start off super strong in the beginning. So I think if we just had that mentality, talent, and skill, we would have done better.”
The Huskies kept up the momentum at the start of the second quarter. A frustrated Lancer utility Christy Lam kept pushing after her ELAC opponents when the ball was near. Zuri Pulido kept scoring during a slow second quarter however the Huskies had a lead of 5-4.
“I try to just play hard the whole game and not let myself go down by the other players,” said Pulido. “Adrenaline and just trying to play your best kept my momentum going.”
ELAC still led at the start of the third quarter even after the Lancers continued to try and score. There were many attempted throws but they did not have enough force behind them. Lancers attacker Yesenia Marin provided a goal for the team in an attempt to catch up to the Huskies. ELAC however still had the lead at the end of an exhausting third quarter with a 3-3 score.
The Lancers gained endurance during the fourth quarter with the help from Jennifer Ortega who scored three shots followed by another goal from Pulido, which tied up the score 14-14 with four minutes left in the game. The Huskies tried to keep up their gameplan, but were faced with a strong defense led by Lancers goalie Mariah York. Both teams pushed to win with a few minutes left in the game, but the Lancers claimed victory at their SCC match, beating the Huskies 7-2.
“We prepare by improving on our offense and it definitely showed today,” said coach Stoddard. “In general when we are on defense, people are able to drive on us so we have to be able to protect the ball side drive a little bit and we also have to be able to break a hard thrust. We countered attacked and that is something that is getting better.”
The Lancers water polo team will be facing El Camino College and Rio Hondo College on Friday October 13, followed by a match with Allan Hancock College and San Diego Miramar College on Saturday October 14 at Citrus College for the Citrus tournament.