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Women's Water Polo Sends Message In 7-6 SCC-Opening Loss To LBCC

Women's Water Polo Sends Message In 7-6 SCC-Opening Loss To LBCC image

For years, the Pasadena City College women's water polo team has had to endure the short stick in its annual encounters with perennial state power Long Beach City College. But on Wednesday, the Lancers put a scare into the Vikings and showed why this 2012 team has postseason potential in a 7-6, South Coast Conference opening defeat at the Aquatic Center.

The Lancers (2-3 overall) trailed 7-4, but scored two goals in the final 68 seconds to cut it to one before Long Beach (4-1) could run out the clock.

PCC goalie Shelby Gregg was sensational in the first quarter despite the Vikings taking a 3-1 lead. Gregg three times made point-blank saves to keep the Lancers from going into a big hole. Instead, Pasadena outscored Long Beach, 5-4, over the final three quarters while playing superb defense. Gregg made seven saves overall as the PCC defense stiffened and forced several steals against LBCC.

"I've never been more proud of a team's performance in my 14 years at PCC," said Lancers head coach Terry Stoddard. "Shelby set the tone for this match. She made some impossible saves and it got the rest of the team fired up. We played great defense, and then we made some nice offensive plays in the second half.

Makenzie Blank inched closer to becoming PCC's all-time leading scorer as her five goals lifted her to 98 in her career, and now second on the Lancers' scoring list. She is just eight goals away from breaking the career mark set by Lybov Tchougounova, whose 105 goals in 2007 was both a single-season and career best scoring mark by any Lancer.

Blank tallied her final goal with nine seconds left on an assist by Marisa Rack after she pumped in a goal with 1:08 left in regulation.

Overall for the Lancers, Ashili Gonzales had a strong two-way match with a goal, two assists and two steals. Gonzales made a spectacular no-look attempt that netted her goal in cutting Long Beach's lead to 5-4 with 2:43 left in the third quarter. The Vikings responded just 15 seconds later on a goal by Jackie Rojas. It was Rojas who scored on a power play with 1:30 remaining that turned out to be the winning goal. Both Rojas and Christine MacLennan had three goals each to pace LBCC.

Gonzales, Rack (two assists), Giselle Mendieta (two steals), Milene Minassians, and Naoni Padilla were instrumental on defense in limiting Long Beach's potent offense.

Between 2004-2011, Long Beach won many one-sided affairs v. the Lancers, averaging a final score margin of 12 goals per game. The seven allowed is a PCC low against Long Beach and the 1-goal margin is the closest match in Lancers' history v. LBCC.

Pasadena next plays at Chaffey College on Wednesday, Sept. 19 in a 3 p.m. match.

[Photo--Makenzie Blank sets up for a shot attempt during PCC's 7-6 loss to Long Beach Wednesday, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]

Release Date: 09/12/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu