Water Polo Playing It Close

Lancer Camila Grases (red 9) makes the field block on a Rio Hondo shot during Monday's loss at the PCC Aquatic Center, photo by Richard Quinton.
Lancer Camila Grases (red 9) makes the field block on a Rio Hondo shot during Monday's loss at the PCC Aquatic Center, photo by Richard Quinton.

The Pasadena City College women's water polo team followed a 2-2 run at the College of San Mateo Tournament Sept. 29-30 with a South Coast Conference game Monday against visiting Rio Hondo. The Lancers had many more scoring chances than the Roadrunners but gave up the deciding goal with 33 seconds left in a tough 9-8 defeat.

PCC outshot Rio Hondo, 32-20, but clanked a bevy of attempts off the cross bar or post. RHC redshirt sophomore goalie Annie Manukyan, who attended PCC last year but did not play, made 15 saves.

The Lancers (3-8 overall) remained winless in SCC play at 0-5. Rio Hondo (3-9, 1-3) broke an 8-8 tie on Maribel Solis' fifth goal of the game. PCC trailed 3-1 but rallied with three goals in a 2:21 span of the second quarter for a 5-4 lead. The Roadrunners pulled back ahead 6-5, scoring at the second quarter buzzer on a goal by Sabrina Miller. 

Briana Santos scored two of her three goals in the third quarter and Yesenia Marin tallied with 53 seconds left to allow the Lancers to tie it, 7-7, going into the fourth period. With 5:31 remaining, Jennifer Ortega's power play goal tied it 8-8. After Solis' last-minute goal, PCC had one more chance to send it to overtime but a long pass from PCC goalie Mariah York to Santos was broken up before the freshman could get off a shot.

At the San Mateo Tournament, the Lancers opened with a rout over host San Mateo, 15-2, on Friday. Christy Lam dished out five assists, had one goal and made five steals, including two field blocks. Marin tallied five goals (in just six shots) and Zuri Pulido landed three goals. York made eight saves, three steals and assisted on two goals. Camila Grases added a goal, four assists and four steals. The team finished off day 1 with an 11-3 loss against West Valley. Sophomore Ellie White, playing for the first time this season, scored two goals. 

On Saturday, the Lancers won in dramatic fashion against Merced as Marin scored with 19 seconds left for the game-winning goal in a 15-14 comeback triumph. PCC trailed 5-0 after the first quarter. Santos scored six goals to lead the rally. Pulido added three goals and three assists and Grases also netted three goals. The Lancers powered in four goals in the final 2:21 in their furious comeback.

In the tourney finale, PCC fell behind 4-0 after the first period and couldn't catch up in a 14-9 loss to Foothill. Grases had a big match with four goals, two assists and five steals. Sophia Woods picked up three assists.

After the first 11 games, two Lancers are scoring at a 2 goals-a-game pace in Marin and Santos with 22 each while Pulido has 19 goals. Grases, who has 16 goals, leads the team in assists with 17. York is the team leader in steals with 39 and has 58 saves defending PCC's goal.

Coach Terry Stoddard's Lancers look for their first conference win on Wednesday when they host LA Trade Tech in a 3 p.m. match at the Aquatic Center.