MONTEREY PARK, CA —The East Los Angeles College water polo team lost 15-10 against El Camino College in a battle for fifth place in the South Coast Conference standings.
It was the last home game for the sophomores who were honored after the match by Erik Matheson, ELAC water polo coach – goalkeeper Krystal Ramirez (Schurr High School), attacker Julia Soto (Garfield HS) and attacker Irene Young (Mark Keppel HS).
The Huskies opened with a lot of passing, which led to a 3-0 lead. Freshman attacker Sophia Gonzalez (Harvard Westlake HS) scored the first goal, a blast off an assist by freshman attacker Elsie Morales (Bell Gardens HS).
Young added the second goal assisted by freshman attacker Elsie Morales (Bell Gardens HS). Freshman center Jessenia Barberena (Mark Keppel HS) scored the third goal (Gonzalez assist).
El Camino closed the gap to 4-2 then ELAC freshman defender Cynthia Sanchez (Schurr HS) found the net with a cross (assist Gonzalez) ELAC led 4-2.
El Camino’s Ilene Guerrero (Yamileth Lopez) added the final first period goal with 20 seconds remaining. ELAC led 4-3 after one.
El Camino regrouped and outscored the Huskies 5-0 in the second period. With less than 10 seconds in this period, El Camino goalkeeper Taylor Beard threw a shot the length of the pool to the left side of the ELAC net and scored.
An unsuspecting Ramirez was positioned on the right side of the net awaiting traffic swimming towards her. Beard saved all three of ELAC’s second-period shot attempts.
El Camino outscored ELAC 5-1 in the third period. Beard blocked or saved ELAC’s other five third-period shot attempts. Gonzalez scored the lone Husky goal unassisted.
In the fourth period, the Huskies outscored El Camino 5-2 and outshot the Warriors 7-5.
Sanchez scored a quick goal 20 seconds into the fourth, assist by Gonzalez. El Camino responded with a score 6:34 remaining in the game.
The Huskies scored four unanswered goals, the latter from Barberena (assist Morales) to close the gap to 14-10 with 47 seconds left in the game. Morales took a shot at the buzzer, but it was blocked. El Camino won 15-10.
Gonzales scored three fourth-period Husky goals, one unassisted and the other two assisted by Morales, Sanchez scored the other goal (assist Gonzalez).
ELAC had 17 steals to 13 for El Camino. Gonzalez had a game high six steals and freshman attacker Martha Villanueva (South East HS) stole four balls.
Ramirez and Sanchez had two steals each for the Huskies; Young and freshman attacker Crystal Rubalcava (Schurr HS) added one each. The other steal came out of traffic from an unidentified Husky.
Ramirez saved 8-of-23 shots. Baird saved 11 of ELAC’s 21 shots.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia