After earning their first victory in the South Coast Conference versus El Camino last week in dominant fashion, the women’s water polo team scurried away from East Los Angeles with a 8-4 victory on Wednesday to improve to .500 in conference play and overall.
This is the Lancers’ first win streak of the season while East LA’s losing streak grew to five in a row.
The Lancers, 2-2 in the SCC and 6-6 overall, got the offense cooking right away with a tally from Irma Sarac just 2:41 into the contest. With 20 seconds remaining in the first frame, Kyrsten Proctor came up with a steal and raced to the other end to score a breakaway goal.
The PCC defense was also clogging up East LA’s offense with great man-to-man coverage in the early going but it tailed off as the game wore on.
With Pasadena off to a 3-0 run to start the game, the tides turned in favor of East LA before the halftime break as they went on a 2-0 run of their own.
Stephanie Perez, a second-year player out of Roosevelt High School, opened the Huskies’ scoring just 45 seconds after the Lancers netted their last goal.
The Huskies then took advantage of an exclusion penalty assessed to Pasadena’s Ariahn Givens with 33 seconds remaining in the second quarter with a bullet from Alejandra Mendoza.
The second half was a different story than the first as it was a back-and-forth battle.
Pasadena scored two goals within two minutes of the start of the third quarter, one a result of a well executed odd man rush where a game of hot potato was being played between Sharon Perez and Krysten Proctor before Perez buried it.
Dazzling defense from both teams was on display as the steals were piling up on both ends. The Lancers edged the Huskies in the steals department, 14-12.
“Teamwork makes the dream work,” said head coach Terry Stoddard. “We played as a cohesive unit and had better all around defense.”
After turning in a 10-save shutout in the previous game versus El Camino, PCC’s goaltender Clarque DeYoung contributed with eight saves to keep the Lancers lead intact against East LA.
A majority of the 12 total shots the Huskies managed to get on goal were from point blank range, which makes DeYoung’s effort even more remarkable despite allowing four goals.
With two of PCC’s players out with a concussion (starter Megan Mora and bench player Marley Reyes), a new wrinkle in the starting rotation was formed as freshman Brianna Calderon made her debut for the Lancers. She played the entire game.
“She did a solid job for her first collegiate game as a starter,” said Stoddard. “She played good defense and showed ability to get back and participate in our offense.”
Calderon was pleased with her performance given that it was her first game with the team but believes some adjustments will have to be made.
“I could have done better but I am not used to playing with this team,” said Calderon of her debut.
Givens was pleased with the outcome of the game and overall performance of the team.
“Our weakness on the counter attack early on in the first few games of the season hurt us and so the extra work we put in practice paid off,” said Givens.
Pasadena will play their fourth of five consecutive conference games on Oct. 14 versus Rio Hondo College at the PCC Aquatic Center.
Rio Hondo is currently on a nine-game losing streak.