News: Women's Water Polo Playing It Close
At the Citrus Tournament played October 12-13, the Pasadena City College women's water polo team continued its best-ever defensive season, but didn't get the desired results in finishing 1-3. PCC dropped to 4-13 overall despite averaging just 8.7 goals allowed per contest.
The Lancers' defensive-minded style has in turn kept the game scores down in their matches. PCC is averaging 6.4 goals offensively, which means the average margin difference is only 2.3 goals per game.
At Citrus, the Lancers reached double digits for the fourth time and posted a 10-7 victory over Santa Ana. PCC, 3-1 this year when scoring 10 or more goals, jumped ahead 6-1 by halftime as PCC head coach Terry Stoddard was able to play most of his reserve roster in the second half.
Freshman utility player Marissa Rack had her finest game to date with two goals, three assists and four steals. Leading scorer Makenzie Blank added two goals, two assists and two steals and Milene Minassians contributed two goals and two steals. Giselle Mendieta, Katherine Little, Ashli Gonzales, and Taylor Guidera each also netted a goal.
"Marisa played great 2-meter defense, and defended the counter," Stoddard said. "She was directing the team well with great communication. She played well the entire tourney."
Sophomore goalie Shelby Gregg added 12 saves in another sterling effort defending the PCC cage.
In game 2, the Lancers lost to Santa Monica, 9-4, despite another two goals and an assist by Rack. Minassians led the team with five steals (Rack had four). Paloma Barrera and Blank picked up a goal each.
On day 2 of the tourney, Pasadena once again got into a battle against South Coast Conference foe El Camino, losing a heartbreaker, 7-6, on a goal in the final seconds. The Lancers trailed 6-4, but goals by Rack and Minassians in consecutive possessions tied it in the last two minutes. With just three seconds left, El Camino's Alexis Solaris bombed in a long-range shot for the winning goal. Blank got off one last PCC shot, but it was stopped at the game buzzer.
Rack made a PCC season-high seven steals, scored the hat trick and had one assist. Blank added two goals and four steals. The Lancers totaled a season-high 18 steals in the game.
PCC finished the Citrus Tournament with a 10-2 loss to Los Angeles Valley. Blank scored her team-leading 52nd goal and Guidera had the other goal.
After 17 matches, Rack took over the team lead in assists with 14 and steals with 32. Minassians is second on the Lancers in goals (19) and steals (24). Gregg upped her save total to 169, keeping her 10-save a match average intact.
"We're staying in games and giving our team a chance to win," Stoddard said. "We just haven't finished our scoring chances enough. Because we have been close in so many games, we know we have the ability to get better. We just have to continue to work hard and create our own breaks."
NOTE LATE SCHEDULE CHANGE
Stoddard announced that the PCC Aquatic Center pool's heating system is not working properly at this time. This has necessitated moving the team's regularly scheduled SCC home match v. Los Angeles Trade Tech on Wednesday, October 17 to Trade Tech's pool (match time is 3 p.m.) The school is working on fixing the system.
PCC also will be playing in the 15th Battle of the Beach Tournament this Friday-Saturday, October 19-20 at both Cypress and Long Beach City Colleges. the Lancers open with an 9:05 a.m. match Friday against San Diego Mesa at Cypress. Check the website for times and opponents to be listed during the rest of the tournament.
[Photo--Lancer water polo freshman Marisa Rack makes a pass during the Citrus Tournament October 12-13, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 10/16/2012