The Women’s water polo team lost 18-7 to the powerful Long Beach CC Vikings at home on Wednesday.
The Vikings dominated the Lancers with strong one-on-one duels and suffocating defense and by controlling possession. This resulted in PCC being behind for the entire game.
Sophomore and team captain Stephanie Velasco kept Pasadena in the contest with two goals in the first quarter, with Long Beach leading 6-4 at the break.
The Lancers failed to take a couple of early chances in the second quarter, which enabled the Vikings to forge ahead 11-4 by halftime. An example of this came three minutes after quarter time when PCC had an open shot at goal but turned the ball over. Long Beach then scored a goal against the run of play.
The Vikings kept their foot on the throttle in the second half and didn’t allow Pasadena back into the game. Sophomore Caroline Liu shot the ball with 20 seconds left on the clock and hit the goalpost. This missed shot epitomized that it wasn’t the Lancers’ day in the pool.
Coach Terry Stoddard found some positives out of the Lancers’ performance.
“I’d rather focus on the fact that Stephanie Velasco did a great job with four goals, she’s showing signs to be a player of all star level,” Stoddard said. “I’m excited about our defense and Velasco, Ariahn Givens and Caroline Liu are working together. There is a really good triangle there.”
The Lancers were down two starters due to injury and food poisoning. This impeded their rhythm because they were forced to use their subs earlier.
“Once we got a couple of subs in there, we lost our rhythm. It wasn’t that the subs didn’t do a good job, they attacked them, we got a little dejected and there is no room for that,” Stoddard said.
According to their captain, the Lancers’ struggled with their endurance and focus after halftime.
“In the second half we just need to stop getting tired, swim a little faster and get back on defense more,” Velasco said.
“The main thing is that we get a little tired at the end of the game and lose concentration,” she added.
PCC mainly focused on their skills building during pre-season which prevented them from maximizing their speed and conditioning, Velasco said.
“If we have speed and don’t have fundamentals, nothing can happen,” Velasco said. “For now, we need to focus more on our speed.”
The Lancers next suit up on the road against Chaffey College on Wednesday, October 8. The game is scheduled for 3 p.m.