Hosting the Cerritos Mini Tournament on Friday, the Cerritos College men's water polo team earned a pair of wins. The Falcons (14-4) opened the day with a hard fought 9-8 win over Orange Coast College and then capped it off with a 20-6 win over Chaffey College. The team will host Chaffey once again on Wednesday in a 4:15 p.m. South Coast Conference game.
Cerritos vs. Orange Coast: With the intensity reminiscent of a playoff game, the Falcons opened a 4-2 second period lead only to see the Pirates score the game's next four goals. Cerritos struggled with their shot selection, while Orange Coast started connecting on their passes and execution. Freshmen John Gomez (La Serna HS) and Brian Luque-Gutierrez each scored power play goals in the third period, with sophomore Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS) also scoring, as the Falcons took a 7-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter. It was a two-goal game after Elizarraraz scored, with sophomore Rodrigo Baca (Kennedy HS) scoring what would be the eventual game-winning goal with 5:51 left to put the team up, 9-7. Sophomore goalie Zachary Jenkins (La Serna HS) came up huge in goal in the first half and then again in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 saves. Elizarraraz and Luque-Gutierrez each led the team with two goals, while sophomore Nik Klimpfinger (Los Alamitos HS) and Elizarraraz dished out a team-high three assists.
Cerritos vs. Chaffey: The Falcons scored the first eight goals of the game to take a commanding lead over their conference foes. Elizarraraz, along with freshmen Seamus MacDonald (Long Beach Millikan HS) and Luke Wolfe (Corona HS) each accounted for two goals each to start the game. Cerritos took a 14-2 lead into halftime and used the advantage in the score to play the entire bench. Responding well were Wolfe and sophomore Mateo Fernandez (St. John Bosco HS), who each had four goals, while freshman Eduardo Rodriguez (Buena Park HS) recorded a season-high six assists. Freshman Sebastian Orrego (North Providence, RI HS) also played well and handed out five assists, while goalie Nate Pineda (La Mirada HS) turned away six shots in his three periods of action. As a team, the Falcons had 18 steals, with Wolfe (4) and Rodriguez (3) leading the way.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
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