Fullerton College men’s water polo team lost a home game to Saddleback College by a final score of 15-8 on Wed., Sept. 13.
This loss ends a five game winning streak for the Hornets. It also is their first conference loss which moves them down in the Orange Empire Conference standings.
“Overall, I think we did a really good job, we were close but it was just a break down of our defense,” said Sophomore utility player, Wade Shipman.
To start the game, Saddleback took a commanding lead early. Saddleback College Freshman utility player, Luke Prendiville opened up the game with a score in the first two minutes of the second quarter.
Saddleback’s offense continued to put up points. A goal by Sophomore driver, Max Gonter along with goals scored by Freshman utility player, Andrew Dimino added to Saddleback’s lead.
At the end of the quarter, the Hornets found themselves in a 4-0 hole at the end of the first.
“They beat us in the counter attack. This team from Saddleback is a really well seasoned team, they came from really strong high schools and unfortunately they were just a little bit better than us today,” said Head-Coach Rhett Price.
As Fullerton tried to gather themselves, Saddleback didn’t slow down. Goals by Sophomore, Keeon Jabbour and Freshman driver, Nathan Benge added to their lead in the second quarter making the score 6-0.
It wasn’t until a few possessions later until the Hornets began to get their offense going.
A lob by Shipman sent the ball over the Saddleback Sophomore goalie, Jeff Rebrukh. As the ball was left floating in front of the empty net, Fullerton’s Sophomore utility player, Brandon Kepley swam in and pushed it into the back of the net for Fullerton’s first score of the game.
However, Saddleback answered with a score of their own only two possessions later. The Guachos didn’t hold back and widened their lead as the quarter winded down. At the end of the half, Fulerton trailed 8-2.
Fullerton came out in the second half ready to make a come back. A foul by Saddleback gave Fullerton an opportunity to score. A pass from Kepley to Shimpan set up an easy goal with about with just over half of the third quarter remaining.
However, the Guachos answered back in less than 30 seconds. After swapping scores, the Guachos ended the quarter with a goal putting them up 11-4 heading into the fourth quarter.
Throughout the final quarter, both teams came out firing on offense. Yet, Fullerton fell short and weren’t able to mount the comeback.
The Hornets look to bounce back this weekend as they enter the Mt. SAC tournament beginning this Friday.
“I think it motivates us to do better. It affects us in a way that pushes us to do better,” commented Freshman utility player, Alex Alkoraishi.
“We get ready for each game and we don’t let one game determine the next,” added Price.
Fullerton heads into the tournament this weekend looking to get back on track and find their form en route to a successful season.