LONG BEACH, CA — The East Los Angeles College water polo team lost to powerhouse Long Beach City College 14-8, but not without a strong showing in the South Coast Conference game.
“I’m extremely proud of our team and the way they performed today against one of the top teams in our conference,” said ELAC assistant coach Katia Montoya. “Walking into this game we knew we had nothing to lose, just a point to prove. I believe we did that today.”
The Huskies scored first, 71 seconds into the game from sophomore Sophia Gonzalez’s (Harvard-Westlake High School) smack to the wall.
Gonzalez scored a total of four goals and leads the Huskies with 22 this season, fourth best in the state.
ELAC then outshot Long Beach 2-1 sandwiched with a big steal from sophomore Jessenia Barberena (Mark Keppel HS) at the 5:32 mark.
Long Beach City led after the first quarter, 3-1.
In the second quarter, the Huskies pulled out from their defensive pressure, which opened up lanes for Long Beach.
The Vikings took quick advantage of that and scored five unanswered goals in a span of two minutes beginning with 7:29 left in the half and continued at the 6:54 mark, 6:30, 6:08, 5:55 and 5:28.
After an ELAC time out, the ELAC defense pressed man-to-man and even blocked shots in the passing lanes.
With the press intact, ELAC outscored Long Beach 8-6 for the remainder of the game.
Second quarter ELAC goals came from Gonzalez off a cross shot and freshman Allyson Jimenez (Montebello HS) who scored from a blast off an assist from freshman Amy Cervantes (Montebello HS). Long Beach led at the half 9-3.
ELAC dominated the third quarter beginning with two unanswered goals from Cervantes, 41 seconds apart. After a steal from Gonzalez, Cervantes scored with 6:17 left in the quarter (assist Gonzalez) and again at the 5:36 mark (assist Gonzalez).
ELAC outshot Long Beach in the third quarter 6-5.
Fourth quarter ELAC goals were from Jimenez (assist Cervantes) and Gonzalez. Gonzalez connected on a penalty shot. She was pushed under water by two defenders, but the referee didn’t make the call until an ELAC fan reacted.
“I think the ref took so long to call the five-meter because I think they usually want the players to work for the call a little more,” said Gonzalez.
Three Huskies had three steals apiece, Gonzalez, Cervantes and freshman Caitlyn Woo (Mark Keppel HS). ELAC freshman goalkeeper Alejandra Gazpar (Maywood HS) had four saves.
The Huskies played their best offense in the third quarter.
“We do need to work on our big set, the first two quarters,” said freshman Michelea Esparza (Alliance Morgan McKinzie HS). “As long as we work on it we’ll do great.”
ELAC plays its long awaited crosstown rival game at Los Angeles Trade Tech College on Wednesday, Sept. 19 beginning at 3 p.m. The Huskies won last year 17-1.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index and ELAC Huskies Athletics on Facebook.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia