Gleason wins South Coast Conference Championship in sudden death

James Williams and James Williams

Utility player Shelby Gleason led the Cerritos College women’s water polo team to a sudden death victory with the game-winning shot over the Long Beach City College Vikings 8-7 to win the South Coast Conference Championship on Saturday at Mount San Antonio College.

“We called a time-out, so we expected a goal and I just put it away,” Gleason said.

The Falcons managed to keep the Vikings scoreless in the fourth quarter and final minutes to tie the score at 7-7.

Cerritos College goalkeeper Sharon Ku said, “We were pretty consistent with our effort, it was just a matter of executing it in the beginning and toward the end, our defense stepped up.”

Cerritos’ late rally in regulation caused the game to be sent into overtime, but neither team was able to score after two, three minute overtime periods.

After Cerritos freshman attacker Katherine Gabayeron was able to recover the ball first on a sprint against a Vikings player, she quickly called for a time-out.

During the time-out, Cerritos head coach Sergio Macias was able to set up a strategy for his team to score.

“I just told the girls, keep playing hard and eventually the goals will go in,” he said.

Coming out of the halftime, Gleason took possession of the ball off a pass from attacker Sarah Aguayo.

Gleason took a shot at the left side of the net to score what would be the game winning shot.

“[Gleason] took a smart shot that ended up being the game winner,” Macias said.

With the win, the Falcons have won the SCC three of the last four seasons.

Cerritos will now move ahead to the SoCal regional, where it is the No. 3 seed.

“The seedings are not officially out, but if I’m going to guess it looks like we’re playing Orange Coast College, who gave us a loss earlier [this season]. I think these girls are going to be excited to play them again to redeem ourselves,” Macias said.