Entering the Southern California Regional Playoffs as the #5-seeded team, the Cerritos College men's water polo team saw their season come to an end with a 7-6 loss to #4-seeded Orange Coast College on Friday. The Falcons (19-9), who were serving as the host of the tournament, suffered their second loss of the season to the Pirates.
Cerritos jumped out to a quick 3-1 first quarter lead, but didn't score their next goal until the fourth quarter. By that time, the Pirates (18-6) had scored six consecutive goals for a 7-3 advantage. The Falcons missed several chances, but couldn't crack the Orange Coast defense, which collapsed every time Cerritos tried to move in for a high percentage shot. In the fourth quarter, sophomore Arturo Ortuno (Universidad la Salle, Mexico) took over and scored the next three goals, to get the team to within 7-6.
With the ball in the final seconds of the game, and looking to tie the match, sophomore Raul Muniz (Colbach, Mexico) had the ball stolen from him after he tried to make a move to the center of the goalie cage. The Pirates were then able to run out the close and end the season for Cerritos.
Freshman goalie Zachary Jenkins (La Serna HS) kept the team in the match with 14 saves, while a trio of players recorded a pair of steals. Ortuno led the team with three goals, while freshman Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS) recorded a pair of goals.
Photos by Daryl Peterson