RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA — After losing to Chaffey College twice this season, the East Los Angeles College water polo team won a 12-11 thriller upset at the Panther’s Aquatic Center.
Splashing in the pool after the win never felt so good.
The key South Coast Conference victory in the regular season finale moved ELAC into a tie for fourth place in the SCC standings with Chaffey.
“The (win) put us in a good spot for the SCC Championships,” said Assistant Coach Katia Montoya. “The girls wanted to achieve goals they have not, (which) they believed they could achieve this season!”
And that they did. The one-point win give ELAC the No. 4-seed in the SCC Championships.
“They are aware of their potential,” said Montoya. “And are stronger than ever, mentally and physically.”
ELAC lost to Chaffey 19-12 in the opening game of the season without a starting goalie then lost again 25-9 in the Citrus College Tournament on Oct. 14. The latter loss was without ELAC’s top player, sophomore Sophia Gonzalez (Harvard-Westlake High School).
On Sophomore Day, sporting a full healthy team, the Huskies aggressively pressed and created Chaffey turnovers, which ELAC took advantage of enroute to a 5-2 first quarter lead, to stun the home crowd.
Gonzalez scored 76 seconds into the game. Freshman Allyson Jimenez (Montebello HS) spanked a goal in the net at the 3:24 mark and ELAC led 2-0. Chaffey cut the lead to 2-1 after a Morgan Kramer goal (assist Destiny Talamantes) just 20 seconds later.
ELAC scored two quick goals 29 seconds apart, the first from freshman Amy Cervantes (Montebello HS) at 2:41 and the second from Jimenez at 2:12.
Chaffey scored with 1:54 left in the first frame and ELAC responded with a goal from Jimenez with 26 seconds in the quarter.
The teams traded three goals each in the second quarter. Two of ELAC’s goals were from Jimenez and the other from Cervantes. ELAC led 8-5 after two.
Chaffey scored four unanswered goals in the third quarter and led 9-8 with 3:08 left in the frame. ELAC answered with two goals, one at the 1:54 mark by Jimenez and the other by Gonzalez with 28 seconds left in the quarter. ELAC led 10-9 after three.
Chaffey tied it at 10-10 with 6:06 left in the game from a Breana Vander Broek score (assist Emily Richter), and ELAC followed with two netters, the first with 5:44 left and the latter with 1:19 remaining in the game.
Chaffey closed the gap to 12-11 with a minute left in the contest, but the Huskies remained focused and physical and squelched a comeback win for the host team.
Jimenez scored a game-high seven goals and has 40 during the month of October and 33 steals. Cervantes added three goals and Gonzalez scored two. Gonzales has 49 steals in October and has scored 33 goals.
The SCC Championships will be at Mt. San Antonio College this year. ELAC opens play against the No. 5-seed Chaffey on Friday, Nov. 3 at 12:45 p.m.
A win will put ELAC in the championship semifinals against No. 1-seed Long Beach City College at 6 p.m. A loss moves them to the consolations semifinals vs. Rio Hondo College at 5 p.m. Join the fun and support the Huskies!
The tournament continues on Saturday, to be announced. Check out ELAC Huskies Athletics on Facebook for updated results.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index
Final SCC Standings
Long Beach City 8-0 in the SCC (16-8 overall)
Mt. San Antonio 7-1 (17-6)
Cerritos 6-2 (11-10)
East Los Angeles 4-4 (8-9)
Chaffey 4-4 (10-12)
Pasadena City 3-5 (8-14)
Rio Hondo 2-6 (5-21)
El Camino 2-6 (4-18)
LA Trade Tech 0-8 (0-8)
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia