With only second-leading scorer Yesenia Marin returning from last year, the 2018 Pasadena City College women's water polo team has a brand new roster that features 10 freshmen. PCC head coach Terry Stoddard, who has coached every game in program history, begins his 20th season on the pool deck.
Marin, a center-forward who scored 42 goals and was an All-South Coast Conference honorable mention, will be relied on to be the team's go-to scorer as well as serving as a team captain.
Of the freshmen group, goalie Natalie Wassall (Arcadia High) may be the team's most athletic player while center Sabrina Ramos (Bell Gardens), center-attacker Fernanda Alvarez and center Meredith Morris (Fullerton HS) figure to contribute on both sides of the pool. Other Lancers include attackers Jemima Villareal and Erandy Wells, who with Marin and Alvarez all are local players who played together previously at Pasadena High.
Winger Meleenae Goumirkian (Glendale Hoover HS) was also played during the Lancers season-opening two games at the Los Angeles Valley College Mini Tournament played on September 8. PCC's young bunch opened with a solid 11-7 win over Pierce as Marin, Ramos and Alvarez all tallied hat tricks. Wassall made nine saves.
"Natalie made some critical saves on three counter attacks and shots from set by Pierce," Stoddard said. "Her passing led to three attack goals for us. It was really an outstanding team effort, led by Marin, Alvarez (led PCC with three steals and two assists) and Morris (one goal, two assists and two steals)."
Host LA Valley handed the Lancers an 11-5 defeat in the second game despite the second straight 3-goal game by Marin, who twice scored on penalty shots. Morris added two goals. Wassall taliled nine saves and led the team with three steals.
"LA Valley's defense was very stingy and it kept us from getting quality shots at even strength," Stoddard said. "For an opening tourney with so many players in their first collegiate games, I'm very pleased with our efforts."
Stoddard is carrying a new assistant coach in Katia Montoya.
The Lancers opens SCC play and will play before their home fans for the firs time against Chaffey College on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in a 3 p.m. match at the Aquatic Center.