W. Water Polo: Falcons compete in 24-team tournament

Falcons played in the Battle at the Beach over the weekend
Falcons played in the Battle at the Beach over the weekend

Serving as one of the three site hosts for the Battle at the Beach Tournament, the Cerritos College women's water polo team collected one win in four games over the weekend. The Falcons (12-10) played the first day in their own pool and opened with a difficult 10-9 sudden death loss to Golden West College and followed that with a hard fought 6-4 triumph against Palomar College. Competing at Cypress College the second day, Cerritos opened with a 10-4 loss to Ventura College and capped off the tournament with a 13-9 loss to Cuesta College in the 13th place game. On Wednesday, the team will host rival Long Beach City College at 3:00 p.m., with a win promoting them into a three-way tie for first place in the South Coast Conference.

Cerritos vs. Golden West: The game against the Rustlers saw the Falcons battle back from a three-goal deficit heading into the fourth period and they tied the match at 7-7 sending it to overtime. In the fourth period, power play goals from freshman Mayra Olivas (Montebello HS) and sophomore Lizbeth Gomez (Schurr HS) in the first two minutes was followed by a goal from freshman Kate De La Mora (Schurr HS) with 1:56 left put the game even. Both teams missed chances of taking the lead before the end of regulation, which extended the match to a pair of three-minute overtime periods. Cerritos scored the first two goals to take a 9-7 lead with 2:24 remaining in the second overtime. Golden West bounced back and scored the next two, including the tying goal with :22 seconds left on a backhand. The game moved to a sudden death period, and after Cerritos turned the ball over after gaining possession, the game came to an end when Golden West's Kourtney Pyle scored with 1:05 remaining to end the game. Olivas led the team with five goals and four steals, with De La Mora scoring twice. Gomez scored her lone goal on 14 shot attempts, with sophomore goalkeeper Dulce Medina (Paramount HS) making three saves in the match.

Cerritos vs. Palomar: Although it was a defensive battle, the Falcons scored a pair of early goals to take a 2-0 lead. After the De La Mora and Gomez goals, Olivas found the back of the net with :42 seconds left in the first period for a 3-0 advantage. By the start of the third period, it was a 4-4 match until Olivas scored with 6:11 left in the period, with the only other goal of the match coming in the fourth period from freshman Lizbeth Ramirez (Sunny Hills HS). Cerritos took 31 shots in the match, with Olivas leading the team with three goals and three steals, while assisting on another. Medina came up with nine big saves in the win over the Comets and also made a steal.

Cerritos vs. Ventura: Earlier in the season, the Falcons posted an 11-7 win over the Pirates. But in their second meeting, Cerritos was held scoreless in the first half and trailed 6-0 until De La Mora scored on a power play situation. They couldn't get any closer than a five-goal deficit in the match, with De La Mora leading the team with a pair of goals. Olivas, who scored once, played solid defense and led all players with seven steals, with Gomez accounting for the other goal and four thefts. Medina made eight saves in the loss.

Cerritos vs. Cuesta: A slow start hurt the Falcons in their final match of the tournament, as it was a 13-4 match early in the fourth period. However, Cerritos would score the final five goals of the match to draw within four goals by the final whistle. De La Mora and Gomez each scored twice in that final period and combined for five of the team's goals. Accounting for the other four goals was freshman Carolina Medrano (Schurr HS), while she also posted four steals. Olivas led the team with six thefts, with Medina recording seven blocks.

At this point in the season, De La Mora is fourth in the state with 66 goals, while Gomez leads the state with her 69 assists. As for Olivas, she is currently the state leader in steals with 89.