M. Water Polo: Season comes to an end with playoff loss

File Photo: Ben Neppl scored three times for Cerritos
File Photo: Ben Neppl scored three times for Cerritos

In the first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs, the Cerritos College men's water polo team saw their season come to a conclusion after a 14-10 loss to Saddleback College Friday afternoon. The Falcons (19-12), who were the #6-seeded team, lost to the #3-seeded Bobcats for the third time this season.

After goals in the final minute of the first period by freshman Abimael Anorve (Mira Costa HS) and sophomore Joey Hurtado (Cerritos HS), Cerritos held a 3-2 advantage. The goal by Hurtado came with just :04 seconds remaining in the quarter. It was a 4-2 Falcons lead after sophomore Mario Vanzillotta (Colegio Palas, Brazil) scored early in the second quarter. But the Bobcats (26-6) went on to score four of the final five goals of the quarter to take a 6-5 lead at intermission.

The teams traded goals in the third quarter, with each scoring three times, but Saddleback opened the final quarter with a pair of goals to open an 11-8 advantage. Freshman Dominic Hernandez (Schurr HS) would get on the board to make it an 11-9 game until the Bobcats went on to score the next three goals of the game to close it out.

Anorve and sophomore Ben Neppl (Long Beach Millikan HS/Long Beach City College) each scored three times for Cerritos, while Hurtado assisted on three goals and was one of three players with two steals. The goalkeeping tandem of freshmen Owen Fahringer (Long Beach Millikan HS) and Rene Borja (Schurr HS) each played a half, while they combined to make nine saves.