TORRANCE, CA — The East Los Angeles College water polo team defeated South Coast Conference opponent El Camino College 12-6 in the Warriors pool in front of a load crowd.
It is the second win in three games for the improved Huskies who moved to a consistent press defense in as many games.
“We’ve definitely been working on our press defense,” said ELAC head coach Michael Jafari. “If an (opponent) can’t get a pass-off, it eats up the clock and is a turnover. “Our ladies have been capitalizing on turnovers.”
Three Huskies scored 10 of ELAC’s 12 goals with freshman Allyson Jimenez (Montebello High School) finding the net with a team-high four goals.
Sophomore Sophia Gonzalez (Harvard-Westlake HS) and freshman Amy Cervantes (Montebello HS) each tallied three goals.
ELAC notched the first goal 30 seconds into the game when Gonzalez smashed one in (assist Jimenez).
Play followed with two ELAC steals (Gonzales and Cervantes) and a missed shot from Jimenez.
EL Camino sophomore Ilene Guerrero (Redondo Union HS) scored at the 5:45 mark. It was her first of four goals for the Warriors and the score was knotted at 1-1.
ELAC added three more scores in the first frame, two from Jimenez sandwiched with a goal from sophomore Jessenia Barberena (Mark Keppel HS).
The assists for the three goals came from Cervantes for the first two scores and Barberena for the latter of the three.
ELAC tackled on two more goals in the second quarter beginning with freshman Caitlyn Woo’s (Mark Keppel HS) liner (assist Gonzalez) with 3:35 remaining in the half.
ELAC’s defensive press continued, e.g., Barberena left the game and was replaced Michelea Esparza (McKinzie HS) who immediately had her hands up on defense.
This type of defense held El Camino scoreless in the quarter and ELAC led 6-1 at the half.
El Camino opened the second half with two unanswered goals, both by Guerrero, which trimmed ELAC’s lead to 6-3.
The Huskies outscored the Warriors 3-2 for the remainder of the third quarter beginning with two goals from Gonzalez at the 3:50 and 2:01 marks, followed by a score from Jimenez with 00:21 seconds left in the frame.
ELAC led 9-5 after three quarters.
The final quarter scoring began with a goal from El Camino freshman forward Elizabeth Guerrero (assist Ilene Guerrero).
ELAC followed with three goals from Cervantes who scored the first one from her third shot on goal in the frame with a cross to the right pocket.
ELAC led 10-6 with 5:47 left in the game
Cervantes drilled her next shot in the net at the 4:33 mark and then scored on a breakaway tossed over the goalie with 2:25 left in the game.
ELAC freshman goalkeeper Alejandra Gazpar (Maywood HS) did an amazing job at the net with 13 saves against the stunned Warriors.
ELAC has a week off then plays at Pasadena City College in a big showdown with the Lancers on Wednesday, Oct. 11 beginning at 3 p.m.
The teams are evenly matched based on common opponents.
An ELAC win would be the first in four years against the Lancers.
The Huskies will move into fourth place with a win against Pasadena, which will help with their seedings in the upcoming South Coast Conference Championship Tournament.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index and ELAC Huskies Athletics on Facebook.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia