M. Water Polo: Season ends abruptly with playoff loss

The Falcons had their season come to an end with their playoff loss
The Falcons had their season come to an end with their playoff loss

With hopes of advancing to the CCCAA State Championships this season, the Cerritos College men's water polo team saw their season end with a 12-11 loss to Cuesta College at the Southern California Regional Playoffs. The Falcons (26-5), who were seeded #2, were coming off a thrilling South Coast Conference Tournament championship win over rival Long Beach City College several days earlier. They would have faced the Vikings once again with a berth in the state championships on the line with a win. However, the #7-seeded Cougars (21-14) pulled off the upset.

Cerritos defeated Cuesta, 12-10 three weeks earlier, but had their hands full the entire match. It was more of the same in the playoffs, although the Falcons opened up a quick 3-0 lead on goals by three different players. However, the Cougars outscored Cerritos, 4-1 in the second quarter and took a 6-5 lead into halftime.

Opening the second half with two straight goals, Cuesta led 8-5 until freshman Ever Resendiz (Colegio de Bachilleres 6, Mexico) scored with 5:29 left in the third quarter to get to 8-6. It was a 10-6 game when freshman Salvador Orozco (Montebello HS) found the back of the net with 2:27 remaining, with the Cougars responding with another goal before Orozco scored with 1:06 left to put it at an 11-8 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

With neither team able to score in the first few minutes of the fourth period, Resendiz got the team to within 11-9 and then it became a 12-9 game. Sophomore Angel Rojas (Colegio Fray Luis Amigo, Venezuela) and Jeffrey Park (Cerritos HS), who scored with :27 seconds left, were able to get the Falcons to 12-11, but that's where the game ended, as did the season.

Rojas (three steals, two assists) and Resendiz led the team with three goals each, while Orozco and Park each scored twice. Freshman goalkeeper Matthew Contreras (Montebello HS) recorded seven saves.