With the positional move of Kaitlin Mason to the field after starting the season solely as a reserve goalie, the Pasadena City College women's water polo team has seen an improvement on offense. Mason scored goals in each of her last four games and notched a hat trick for the second straight contest as the Lancers defeated host East Los Angeles, 8-3, in a South Coast Conference game on Monday.
Mason, now with nine goals, didn't join the team's regular field lineup until September 28. Against the Huskies, Mason buried her third goal with 5:46 left that helped the Lancers build a 6-2 lead at that point. The freshman from South Pasadena High added three steals overall.
Top scorer Zuri Pulido raised her team-leading total to 16 goals this season with four goals, including one on a penalty shot in the fourth period.
Letterman goalie Clarque De Young made eight saves, three steals, and assisted on two goals. Irma Sarac added four steals and leads PCC with 36 in 12 matches. The sophomore Sarac also is the Lancers' assist leader thus far with 12. Ellie White picked up a goal and made three steals.
"Mason kind of solves a missing piece in our attack," said PCC head coach Terry Stoddard. "We needed another experienced player to help with our passing, power play. She gives us an additional shooter in the field. We're spreading it around but we've had a few games where we just haven't been able to reach the net enough. Defensively, we're playing well and it continues to be our strength."
PCC is 3-9 overall and 1-3 in SCC games. The team went 1-3 at two College of San Mateo mini tournaments played in Northern California on Sept. 30-Oct. 30. PCC downed host CSM, 12-10, in an exciting rally from 9-4 down in the Friday opener. The Lancers scored five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter as Sarac tallied the game winner with 1:09 left in the game. The sophomore finished with three goals and three assists. White and Evangelica Child also added hat tricks while De Young made eight saves and four steals.
The Lancers then lost to Las Positas, 6-4, despite 12 saves by De Young. Mason scored two goals. On Saturday, Merced won a tight one over the Lancers, 5-4. PCC led 4-3 thanks to third-period power play goals by Sophia Woods and Pulido. But Merced would tie it and then win it on a goal by Brooke Hickerson with 3:52 left in the contest. In the Oct. 1 finale, PCC surrendered a season-high 13 goals and lost to Fresno City, 13-4. Ashlee Gibbs scored five goals for the Rams.
Next for the Lancers is a SCC game at Long Beach City College on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Game time is 3 p.m.
[Photo--Kaitlin Mason gets ready to fire a shot during PCC's win at the ELAC Swim Stadium on Monday, image by Richard Quinton.]