By Stephen Peltz
Riverside City College’s men’s water polo team lost in the second tournament on Oct. 12 10-6 against Orange Coast College.
The men’s team had won the game earlier in the tournament against Grossmont College 18-9 but came up short in the later game and went an even 2-2 during the tournament. After the tournament the men’s current win loss record is 6-9 on the season.
The Tigers were slow from the start. While they were getting deep into the opponent’s area they could not get good shots on goal. The defense was not nearly noticeable at all after the first quarter giving up a total of six goals against Orange Coast in the second and third quarter, three a piece in each quarter. The Tigers were either outscored or tied in each individual quarter.
In the second half of the game RCC came out fast finally playing great defense and pushing into Orange Coasts zone nearly tying the game with the shots the Tigers were able to score. However, most of the shots throughout the game were hitting the post or missing the goal completely with RCC only getting six official shots throughout the whole game.
“We’ve been making too many turnovers and bad passes and untimely errors, sometimes unforced errors, and if we can clean that up then we can actually compete and win,” Jason Northcott, head coach of the men’s water polo team said, which shows why they are currently 6-9. It also why the team should have hope since they are still in line for a playoff spot and can get to an even win loss record or even a winning record if they can fix their mistakes and play like a playoff team would.
It did get a little rough during the game with a few players from both teams playing very aggressive defense, drawing a few penalties making a few minutes of the game a little intense if watching just those two players who seemed to constantly try to make the other give up the ball and make mistakes. Four exclusions occurred during the game, and all four were against Riverside with Fülöp Hegyi having two of the four against him. But more importantly, during that stretch of the game both teams were stopping each other from moving the ball forward and did not allow any chances to score. That all fell apart during the last few minutes of the game as Orange Coast scored three to RCC’s two as RCC tried too late to be more aggressive and play with a faster tempo to tie the game.
Ethan Saenz scored a total of two goals while both Vincenzo Inguanta and Kenny Wulf scored a single goal and single assist.
Leonardo Monges, the goalie for RCC, technically let more goals past him than he stopped by only one goal. The tenth goal was given up while the goalie was not defending the goal in the last minute of the game. And while the defense was doing the best of their abilities, Monges missed some very close shots not letting RCC make a comeback.
“We have to capitalize on opportunities. We have to limit our mistakes and we have to exploit the other teams mistakes that we force on them. That’s something we’ve been working on from the beginning,” Northcott said, showing that they have given time over the season to fix what they need to, but sometimes luck just is not on their side losing games over simple mistakes. Northcott also talked about the inexperience his young team has but stated how they are working hard everyday and consistently improving each week to form a winning team.
While currently in line for a playoff spot, there is only a few weeks left to be able to secure a spot. The Tigers are looking to stay on the path they are currently on, with only wanting to improve their record and make a run once it is playoff time.