PCC water polo suffered their third loss of the season by a score of 3-16 against Cerritos College on Wednesday afternoon, giving them their lowest score of the season thus far.
While it may seem early, the first few games can wield a striking amount of influence on the rest of the season. “You want a high seat going into the conference tournament so that you finish as high as possible in the tournament, so that you can make the playoffs,” said head coach Terry Stoddard.
The focus for this season is on defense and cohesion.
“In any game, just be stronger and…faster than the other team, and [don’t] play as separate entities”, said freshman goalie, Mariah York.
The strategy is in direct response to Cerritos’ reputable offense.
“Cerritos is very assertive on the perimeter, which is why we developed the half court sets to break their press,” said Stoddard. “We also have a two meter player because they have a player who likes to go to two meters.”
True to Stoddard’s predictions, Cerritos offense dominated the first quarter and a half of the game. They scored eight consecutive goals, leaving the Lancers without a break.
“They’re multifaceted, so they can beat you in a fast break or they can beat you in a toe to toe,” said Stoddard.
After a sluggish start, the freshmen helped salvage the latter half of the game. It was a significant game for attacker, Briana Santos, as she scored her first collegiate goal and led the team in goals, of which she scored two. Meanwhile, center Yesenia Marin also scored during the third quarter, adding to the Lancer’s three goal total.
“What we have going for us is these three leaders…are bringing enthusiasm and the nine freshmen that we have are stepping into their roles and following that enthusiasm,” said Stoddard.
The unity between newcomers and returners will be vital to the next game, when the Lancers will face longtime rivals Mt. Sac Mounties on Sept. 20th at 3 p.m.
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