PCC hosted the women’s water polo mini tournament and defended their turf with an aggressive defense and strategic offense steamrolling the Santa Monica College Corsairs with a 23-5 victory on Friday.Lybov Tchougounova shined as she used quick strategy and swift mobility to tie PCC’s existing record of eight goals within the first quarter of the game at 9-1. As the Corsairs trailed behind the Lancers, Tchougounova became the focus of attack and was fouled twice within the second quarter, managing to score both penalty shots.
Every time SMC got seemingly close to scoring, goalie Jenny Bartlett blocked their desperate attempts with six saves, and the ball found its way back into the hands of the PCC.
About a minute left of the second quarter, Tchougounova was quickly surrounded, Karissa Peltier came to her aid with an assist, while Tchougounova dodged the opposing team’s efforts to steal. With a catapult-like release, she broke the 11th goal record. The Corsairs trickled behind with one point in first half.
While Tchougounova took to the bench for the remainder of the game, having already ceased her glory, her teammates raged on. Goalie PJ Starr caught five saves, though SMC was able to score four goals in the third quarter.
A great example of communication occurred with the last goal of the game by PCC in the fourth. Arda Aghyarian assisted Vanuhi Ovasapyan and though pounded on by SMC defense, much like throwing salt over her shoulder delivered a behind the back goal, ending the game at 23-5.
“I think we’ve seen the best efforts all season, especially with Tchougounova breaking the record. They’ve worked really hard this season on their communication which is evident in their passing and assists. They have fun with each other and I try to get them to keep that in the games. This is all their hard work coming into fruition,” said head coach Terry Stoddard.
“I really owe a lot to my teammates; I really couldn’t have done it without them. We really have a great time out there, and I just feed off the opportunities they provide,” said Tchougounova.
Following the second game of the tournament against Citrus College for which PCC also won with a 9-6 game, Tchougounova has made 93 goals so far this season.
The current record for goals within a season belongs to Sarah Min who earned the title last year with 96 goals.
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