M. Water Polo: Sudden death playoff loss ends season

File Photo: John Guzman scored three times in the Falcons playoff loss
File Photo: John Guzman scored three times in the Falcons playoff loss

Heading into their Southern California Regional Playoff game against Cuesta College on Friday, the #4-seeded Cerritos College men's water polo team already owned a win over their opponent. However, the Falcons (19-14) suffered a 10-9 sudden death loss to the #5-seeded Cougars (25-8), which ended the season.

Trailing, 8-7 nearing the end of regulation, sophomore Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS) extended the game on his goal with :02 seconds left. That sent the game into overtime, which consists of two, three-minute periods. Neither team scored in the first extra period, while both scored in the second overtime. The Falcons received a goal from freshman Mario Vanzillotta (Colegio Palas, Brazil) with :47 seconds left, which sent the game to a sudden death situation, with the first team who scores winning the game and advancing to the next round.

In the sprint to start the sudden death period, Cuesta's Gabriel Browning beat Elizarraraz to the sprint, made one move to the inside and went in alone against sophomore goalkeeper Zachary Jenkins (La Serna HS). His shot went under the arm of Jenkins and into the net to end the game.

Freshman John Gomez (La Serna HS) led the Falcons with three goals, while Elizarraraz pitched in with two goals and drew four exclusions. Freshman Brian Luque-Gutierrez (Salazar y Herrera, Colombia) assisted on three goals on the day, with Jenkins posting 18 saves.


With the Falcons season coming to an end, here is an update on where this year's players have placed their name in the school record book:

Kevin Elizarraraz
79 Goals - 13th Place
49 Exclusions Drawn - Tied 7th Place
139 Carer Goals - 8th Place
60 Career Assists - 20th Place
102 Career Steals - 9th Place
96 Career Exclusions Drawn - 6th Place

Zachary Jenkins
325 Saves - 2nd Place
.559 Save Percentage - School Record
538 Career Saves - 2nd Place

Brian Luque-Gutierrez
63 Goals - Tied 20th Place
49 Assists - Tied 15th Place
16 Blocked Shots - 8th Place

Seamus MacDonald
55 Exclusion Drawn - 6th Place

Mateo Fernandez
49 Exclusions Drawn - Tied 7th Place
69 Career Exclusions Drawn - 11th Place