By Marc Anthony Martinez
The Husky water polo defense dominated in the second half in a 13 to 11 victory against Crafton Hills College on Friday.
Turnovers, not playing defense well early and being caught out of position were a factor for a slow start.
Despite having a slow start in the first half, the Huskies managed to score seven points.
After halftime, the team started playing better and had an opportunity to score from a penalty but ended up missing it.
“They are a very good team defensive-wise. Once the defense gets going their offense really comes together, I just told them to get back to what they know and they were able to pull it off,” Head Coach Kimberly Romero said about what she told them at halftime to turn things around in the second half.
Goalie Faith Acosta had back-to-back saves in the third that helped change the momentum of the game.
“I think our goalies made a big difference in this game,” Romero said.
Lilac Cobos, the other goalie, had some crucial saves late in the fourth quarter to keep the Huskies in the lead.
Alina Perez and Jimena Vargas both had five goals, Alanis Alverado had two and Camilia Zacarias had one goal.
Vargas made a shot that hit the post and went off the Crafton Hills goalie’s head that went back in the net.
Vargas then stole the ball and scored it, getting points in two attempts.
In the fourth, ELAC was up 11-10 when a six on five player advantage for Crafton Hills helped them tie the game, it would be their last point that the Husky goalie allowed for the rest of the game.
Perez scored the last goal for the Huskies with 2:35 left in the game, it came off an assist from Vargas.
The ball was deflected by a Crafton Hills defender, but it still made its way to the back of the net.
“It wasn’t just one individual everybody had to contribute in some way,” Romero said on their win.
Romero and Perez said that they felt the slow start might have been due to the fact that it was Sophomore Day.
The anxiety might have gotten to them early but were glad they were able to overcome that and get the win.
“Feels pretty good knowing it’s my last home game,” Perez said.
Perez said that because they had played Crafton Hills before and beat them that it might have been another factor to why it took them a while to play better.
“We came out thinking we had it in the bag and it overtook us, and they came out better than they did the first time we played them,” Perez said.
Romero had high praise for her sophomore players and was very proud of them and the rest of the team.
“This has probably been the most unique group of sophomores that I’ve had, and they most definitely made this program what it is. I cherish them very much, we’ve had our ups and downs but I really do appreciate each and every one of them,” Romero said.
This Husky team have the best conference record that they have ever had.
“I’m very proud of them and what they have accomplished. They had the same goals, they had the same drive, as soon as they realized that it made everything a lot easier,” Romero said.
The Husky team will face Cerritos in the Conference Championship game.
ELAC will go in as the No. 3 seed and Cerritos will be the No.