Glendora, CA — The Citrus College Men's Water Polo program overcame a sloppy start when they hosted Cuesta College in WSC action on Wednesday afternoon. The Owls trailed by a score after one, and were tied up as late as early in the third quarter. Citrus rallied though and used a 3-0 run to find some breathing room on their way to a 17-12 victory.
Citrus opened up Wednesday's contest when freshman Daniel Velazquez scored the games opening goal 2:30 into the contest. Cuesta would rally with back to back scores to take their first lead of the game, before sophomore Jonathan Lotero scored off a pass from Velasquez to knot the game back up at 2-2. The two teams would trade attempts back and forth, but it was Cuesta who got the best of the Owls in the first quarter as they scored with 21 seconds left to go up 3-2.
In the second, Citrus came out firing, getting another score from Lotero and a strike from sophomore Robert Renteria to pull ahead 4-3. Cuesta would tie the game up twice shortly therafter, but the Owls got back to back goals from Velazquez just before the break to take a 7-5 lead. The two-goal lead would be short lived though as Citrus gave up a goal with just five seconds left in the half to go into the break up just one.
Lotero continued to terrorize the Cougars in the third, scoring on Citrus' first possession to make it 8-6. Cuesta came roaring back though scoring on back to back possessions to tie the game up 8-8. Over the course of the next five plus minutes Citrus locked down on defense and got two scores from Lotero sandwiching a score by freshman Mark Naranjo to go up 11-8. The two schools would trade goals, but Citrus got the last laugh with 49 seconds to go on yet another Lotero score.
In the fourth, Cuesta came out and score the quarter first goal, but the Owls had all the answers outscoring the Cougars 4-3 in the final frame to hold on for the five point win. In the win, Lotero and Velazquez each had seven goals a piece. Velazquez added a team high four assists to go along with three steals, while sophomore goalie Brad Thomson came up with 10 saves and four steals.
With the win, Citrus improves to 16-5 overall and more importantly 1-1 in WSC play. The Owls will be on the road again this Saturday when they take part in their final regular season tournament of the year, the Fullerton Mini. The Owls take on Fullerton at 10:00 AM before playing Grossmont at 12:30 PM.