The Pasadena City College women's water polo team played shot for shot with Chaffey in their South Coast Conference-opening game Wednesday, but the visiting Panthers did a better job of finishing their attempts in an 8-4 win over the Lancers.
PCC (0-3 overall) had a bevy of strong scoring opportunities, but only center-forward Zuri Pulido was able to find the back of the net. The freshman scored all four Lancers goals, two on power plays in the last three minutes. Pulido's fourth score cut the lead to 7-4 with 1:26 left.
Pulido had earlier closed the gap to 2-1 Chaffey leading with PCC's first goal on a pass from Christy Lam with 1:35 to go in the first quarter. The Panthers' Willow Brown scored three goals, two in the third period that gave her team a commanding 6-2 advantage.
Pasadena sophomore goalie Clarque De Young played well, making seven saves and two steals.
"We wasted some good scoring chances, especially on a few breakaways," said PCC head coach Terry Stoddard. "The best thing that happened is that we seemed to have found a go-to scorer in Zuri. She made the most out of her shots and kept us in the game. We've had steady goaltending in all three of our games this year behind Clarque's consistent play."
At the LA Valley Tournament on September 10, the Lancers opened the season with an 8-1 loss to the host Monarchs. De Young was sensational with 10 saves, one on a penalty shot. San Diego Miramar then handed PCC an 8-5 defeat in the second game. In the loss, frosh center forward Jasmine Abriel scored three goals. De Young made eight saves, four steals, and again stopped a 5-meter penalty shot.
"Last year, we had a great defense and kept teams to a 7.4 goals against average and so far we're at an 8. Clarque has been a key factor in all of this. She's athletic and making big saves. We have the potential on offense, so we're looking forward to our next couple of games. Christy has won sprints and is strong on defense. Irma Sarac has played well at 2-meter defense."
On Friday, Sept. 16, the Lancers travel to the El Camino Tournament. They face Santa Monica at 1 p.m. and LA Valley at 3:20 p.m.
[Photo--Lancer Zuri Pulido, from El Rancho High, tallied four goals in Wednesday's game at the Aquatic Center, image Richard Quinton.]