WATER POLO: Valley College collects its 19th win
By Jorge Belon, Staff Writer
The Lady Monarchs defeated the Ventura College Pirates 9-6 Wednesday in a tightly contested water polo match at Valley College. Leading the Monarchs was sophomore Nayiri Kechichian with four goals and sophomore goalie Mariquita Lopez with eight saves.
“We had a rocky start to the game,” Lopez said. “But we picked it up as the game went on and got the goals to win the game.”
The Monarchs jumped to a two-goal lead thanks to freshmen Biyouregh Boghozian who spun away from the defender and placing the ball into the back of the net.
A few minutes later, Kechichian scored the second goal for the Monarchs.
A drop in tempo and tenacity on defense on the Monarchs side allowed the Pirates to score two goals late in the first quarter.
“We needed to help each other in defense more,” said utility sophomore Sabrina Hatzer, “We needed to communicate better out there.”
In the second quarter, the Monarchs responded to their coach’s plead of marking [Freshmen Lauren McCaslin] on the Pirates, “Don’t lose number five, she is the only one that can score.” said water polo Coach Pete Loporchio.
Valley scored three goals in the second quarter. Kechichian scored the first of three for the Monarchs. She lobed the ball over the opposing 6-foot-2 goalie’s stretched out arms.
The Monarchs doubled their lead when sophomore attacker Jacqueline Jones received a pass from Kechichian, and launch a shot to the top left hand corner of the goal to give Valley a 4-2 lead.
A few minutes before the first half ended, Hatzer, got her first goal of the match. Hatzer took a powerful distance shot from the left-hand side, and sent the ball to the bottom right hand corner of the goal to give Valley a three-goal lead going into half time.
At the start of the third quarter, McCaslin would break free from Valley defensive plan and score to cut the lead down 5-3.
The Monarchs restored their lead back to three goals. Kechichian got her third goal with a hard shot that flew right over a human wall of Ventura College defenders.
Pirates’ goalie Molly Watkins would make her sixth save out 11-total after Monarch attacker Savannah Simmons took a shot, but Boghozian rebounded and puting the ball in the net to giving Valley a 7-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Monarchs continued their attack, extending their lead after Hatzer scored her second goal of the match making the score 8-3.
The Pirates answered with a goal from Christina Tellez. Her goal cut the lead back down to four goals, but less than a minute later, Kechichian would break away from Ventura’s defense and beat the goalie to give Valley a 9-6 victory.
“We came out a little flat,” said assistant Coach Robert Echeverria, “But we had an intense tournament a few days ago, so they were tired, but they still pulled through and won the game.”