Water polo coach settles for silver

For Cerritos College assistant women’s water polo coach Brenda Villa, her third appearance in the Olympics resulted in another medal. But, for the third time, the medal wasn’t gold.

Villa, who won a silver medal in 2000 and a bronze medal in 2004, followed that by winning a silver medal on Thursday morning.

The American women’s water polo team, ranked #1 in the world, were upset by #9-ranked Netherlands, 9-8 in the gold medal match at the Beijing Olympics at Yingdong Natatorium.

The Americans, who trailed 4-0 to start the game, worked their way back to a 5-5 tie at halftime.

They then fell behind 7-5 before tying the game at 8-8. But, with 45 seconds remaining, Villa was called for an exclusion penalty, giving the Dutch a 6-on-5 power play. Danielle deBruijn scored the game-winning goal for Netherlands, her seventh, with :26 seconds remaining in the match.

With one last chance to tie the game and send it to overtime, Elise Windes missed an outside shot and Villa couldn’t put home the rebound.

Villa, who tied for the team lead in the Olympics with nine goals, scored once and assisted on five more in the gold medal match.