Ventura edged in thriller

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Freshman goalie Alfredo De La Mora blocks a shot from the Ventura offense.

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Freshman goalie Alfredo De La Mora led the Cerritos College men’s water polo team with 17 saves against Ventura College, winning the game 8-7, on Friday, Sept. 13 at Cerritos College.

Cerritos started off the game with a 4-0 lead a few minutes into the first quarter, only to lose much of that lead due to the many turnovers the team committed.

Reigning Southern Coast Conference Coach of the Year, head coach Joe Abing said, “We took a 5-1 lead and they hung around right up until the end where that game could’ve easily gone either way. We had a lot of mental mistakes in that game where we were turning the ball over.”

First team All-Southern Coast Conference utility Miguel Garcia, who had the game winning steal said, “We started off really strong, but toward the second quarter, we started backing off and started breaking up.”

Cerritos led 7-3 at the half, but Ventura was able to take advantage of the turnover and chip away at the lead until it was an 8-7 score with a little more than a minute left in the game before a last second steal sealed the win for the Falcons.

With the close finish, Abing was about to find a bright spot in De La Mora.

“Our goalie played exceptionally well so that was a bright spot. But overall, I feel like we have a lot of work to do.”

After the game, De La Mora said, “From the beginning we came out strong and for the rest of the game we played really flat. We were about to come out with the victory today, but I think I was able to hold my part in the game.”

He continued, “We played really good defense, but we had a lot of turnovers and that’s what really affected us.”

Abing reiterated his thoughts on the game on what they can do better for their next game and said, “Not turning the ball over. We had too many times where we had the ball in our possession for less than ten seconds and we are making bad decisions, giving it right back to the other team.”

Cerritos improved its record to 2-3 with their first conference game coming up on Wednesday against Mt. San Antonio (3-3).