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Women's Water Polo Young, But Versatile In 2011

Women's Water Polo Young, But Versatile In 2011 image

With a roster featuring nearly all freshmen, the Pasadena City College women's water polo team embarks on a season that will be about developing players to improve on a daily basis, according to head coach Terry Stoddard. 

The Lancers only returning player from 2010 is driver Rebecca Iraheta, a team captain who will be a reserve due to the talent that entered PCC in the offseason. Utility playmakers Makenzie Blank (Temple City High) and Paloma Barrera, from Burroughs High in Burbank, driver/attacker Milene Minassians (Glendale High), and goalies Shelby Gregg and Naoni Padilla (South Pasadena High) are key newcomers expected to help out all over the pool. Both Gregg and Padilla can play the field as well as in the net.

Gregg is replacing an All-Southern California goalie in Hannah Hogue (graduated). Gregg was a standout for a CIF Southern Section Division V semifinalist team at Crescenta Valley High. Padilla was also a strong netminder during her prep career.

"We have depth and we have versatility in that so many players can play multiple positions on offense and defense," said Stoddard, now in his 13th season coaching the Lancers. 

"We can look at the long term, that we can develop this team to be one that could be together for two years. We have players who are able on defense and while we don't have a dominant scorer, we have several players who can spread out our offense. Blank and Barrera are skilled at playmaking."

Rounding out the 2011 Lancers are Scarleth Carcamo (Montebello High, utility), Lauren D'Angelo (Monrovia, wing/driver), Megan Harper (Muir High, wing), Taylor Guidera (Crescenta Valley, wing), Catherine Velasco (Eagle Rock, wing/attacker), Kathleen Little (VAPA of Los Angeles, wing), and Giselle Mendieta (John Marshall HIgh, Los Angeles, wing). 

On Wednesday, the Lancers opened their home schedule and the South Coast Conference season in a 16-2 loss to Chaffey. Both of PCC's goals were scored by Blank, one on an assist by Barrera. The Lancers had plenty of opportunities to score, including not being able to connect on any one of their four penalty shot attempts. The player of the game was reserve goalie Padilla, who made seven saves in the second half and limited Chaffey to just four goals. Gregg had two saves in the opening half and also made a team-high three steals. Both netminders stopped a penalty shot attempt.

The Panthers (3-2) mixed reserves with a few starters after taking a 7-0 first period lead. Overall, Chaffey was led by Jaci Cochrane with four goals and three assists.

PCC will travel to face Cerritos in a SCC match Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m.

[Photo--Goalie Naoni Padilla makes a save during PCC's 16-2 loss to Chaffey Wednesday in the Lancers' season opener at the Aquatic Center, photo by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 09/14/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu