M. Water Polo: Trip to Air Force Academy leads to pair of wins

The Cerritos men's water polo team visited the Garden of the Gods during their tournament in Colorado Springs.
The Cerritos men's water polo team visited the Garden of the Gods during their tournament in Colorado Springs.
Getting their first opportunity to play at the Air Force Academy, the Cerritos College men's water polo team played four four-year universities and a club team over the three-day Rare Air Challenge at Air Force. The Falcons opened with a heartbreaking 17-15 setback to Ottawa (AZ) University and followed with an 18-13 victory against PEAK, a club team. They came back on Saturday to take on Army in their first of two matches and recorded a convincing 22-6 win, and then suffered a 15-9 loss to the host Air Force. The Falcons closed out the tournament with a 13-8 setback against Claremont Mudd Scripps, 13-8. Cerritos (5-4) will compete in the Golden West Tournament next week, which will consist of four games.

The Falcons arrived in Denver for their tournament in Colorado Springs Cerritos vs. Ottawa University: It was a back-and-forth game the entire four periods with the Spirit opening up a 4-1 first period lead. However, the Falcons closed the game to 4-3 by the end of the first period, thanks to goals from sophomores Allan Jimenez (Schurr HS) and Silvestre Chavez (Downey HS). Although Ottawa led the remainder of the game, Cerritos was within striking distance the whole way. It was a 10-6 Spirit lead midway through the third period, but once again, the Falcons fought back. Consecutive goals from freshmen Timothy Robles (Schurr HS), Diego Diaz (Montebello HS) and Joshua Lamberton (Glendora HS) drew the team to within 10-9 and entered the fourth period trailing, 11-9.

The teams each scored six times in the fourth period with Cerritos never able to draw even and dropped the 17-15 decision. Sophomore Kobe Hurtado (Cerritos HS) led the team with four goals, while Robles and Lamberton each scored three times in the match. Five different players assisted on two goals, with the freshmen goalkeeping duo of Diego Campos (Downey HS) and Henry De Luna Pena (Baldwin Park HS) combining for nine saves.
Cerritos vs. PEAK: The Falcons jumped out early against the club team from Colorado and led, 7-3 after the first period, thanks in part to a pair of goals from Diego Diaz (Montebello HS) and Eric Estrada (Cerritos HS). After PEAK closed to within 9-8 in the second period, consecutive goals by Jacob Colon (Schurr HS) and Robles 31 seconds apart put Cerritos back up by three goals heading into halftime. The Falcons extended their lead to 14-10 by the end of the third period and pulled away after goals by Lamberton, Robles and Colon to start the fourth period.

Lamberton finished with a team-high five goals, while Diaz and Colon each added three goals. Robles played a solid all-around game, as he produced two goals, three assists and drew four exclusions, with a trio of players each scoring three times. De Luna Pena earned the win by playing the first half and posted a pair of saves, with Campos playing a strong second half with seven saves.
Cerritos vs. Army: In their first of two games on Saturday, the Falcons balanced a strong offense with solid defense, as they limited the Black Knights to just six goals, with five of them coming in the first half. Cerritos put seven in the back of the next in each of the first two periods to race out to a 14-5 advantage at intermission. Everyone saw playing time and 10 players scored at least one goal in the victory.

Lamberton paved the way with five goals and added a pair of assists, with Hurtado adding four goals and two assists of his own. Robles accounted for three goals with a trio of players scoring twice. Even De La Pena got in on the offensive action with a pair of assists to go with his five saves in one half of action. 
Cerritos vs. Air Force B: Facing the host school, the Falcons of Cerritos trailed 6-3 at halftime after watching the Falcons of the Air Force score four consecutive first half goals. After Robles drew Cerritos to within 7-4 in the third period, Air Force responded with five straight goals to give them some breathing room. Cerritos did battle back and posted four straight goals from Chavez, Hurtado, Lamberton and Robles to get to within 13-9 with 6:15 remaining but could not add to their total.

Robles scored three times, while Lamberton added two goals, three assists and drew three exclusions. Diaz, who was left off the scoreboard, did a fine job on defense and recorded six steals.
Cerritos vs. Claremont Mudd-Scripps: Unable to jump out to a lead like they had done in previous games, the Falcons played from behind against the Staggs. Unlike CMS, Cerritos could not score consecutive goals, so essentially, they spent the played the match trading one goal for two. Lamberton and Chavez accounted for all four first half goals, as the team trailed, 7-4 at intermission. The Staggs came out in the second half and scored the first two goals of the third period and went on to hand the Falcons the loss.

Lamberton and Chavez finished the game with two goals, while De Luna Pena and Campos combined for 10 saves in goal.