M. Water Polo: Conference loss drops team into second place

File Photo: Mateo Fernandez scored twice for the Falcons
File Photo: Mateo Fernandez scored twice for the Falcons

With their 12-9 South Coast Conference loss to host Mt. San Antonio College on Wednesday, the Cerritos College men's water polo team dropped out of a tie for first place and into a tie for second. The loss by the Falcons (16-8, 3-1) was their fourth in a row, with the team looking to break that streak this weekend when they play in the Golden West II Tournament.

Locked in a 9-9 battle with the Mounties in the fourth quarter after scoring the last two goals to tie the game, the Falcons surrendered a power play goal with 3:04 left on the clock to fall behind, 10-9. Two missed scoring chances and two turnovers hurt the team's chances, as Mt. San Antonio added two more goals in the final 1:49 to secure the victory.

Cerritos opened a 4-2 lead after the first period by scoring four straight goals. Heading into halftime, a goal by sophomore Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS) put the team in front, 5-4. After the Mounties tied the game in the third period, sophomore Mateo Fernandez (St. John Bosco HS) gave the Falcons their last lead of the day at 6-5 when he scored with 5:30 remaining. Mt. SAC accounted for four of the next five goals before the two by Cerritos tied the game at 9-9 in the fourth quarter.

The trio of Fernandez, along with freshmen Brian Luque-Gutierrez (Salazar y Herrera, Colombia) and Seamus MacDonald (Long Beach Millikan HS) each scored twice, with sophomore Nik Klimpfinger (Los Alamitos HS) assisting on two goals. Cerritos posted 21 turnovers on the day, which hindered their chances to win, while sophomore goalkeeper Zachary Jenkins (La Serna HS) recorded 12 saves.