Saddleback College’s men’s water polo team lost to the Orange Coast College Pirates 19-8 last Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Men’s water polo now stands with a 2-5 winning ratio in the regular season, but a 0-2 ratio in the Orange Empire Conference.
Following the Gaucho women’s water polo loss, the men’s team wanted to step their game up even though their starting goalie, Trevor Bills, was injured and couldn’t play. Bills’ back-up John Echelberger stepped into the net.
The intensity was not lacking in the water, OCC scored first, but the Gauchos retaliated, keeping up with OCC in scores. Even with the game being very offensive oriented, Echelberger covered the net as best he could.
The Gauchos seemed to be playing on par with OCC, but eventually the Pirates managed to break the long standing tie of 2-2 to make the score 5-2.
The game became a battle of dominance, but the gauchos couldn’t put a stop to OCC’s scoring streak. At the end of the first half, the scoreboard read 9-3, with the Gauchos losing.
The beginning of the second half, the Gauchos started out particularly aggressive, denying OCC the chance to score after many opportunities. However this new resolve waned and by the end of the the second quarter, the Gauchos were losing 12-4.
Throughout the third and fourth quarters the Gauchos made occasional scores, and Echelberger deflected many score attempts, but the Pirates seemed to be one step ahead of their movements.
The final score was 19-8 and though this may be disheartening to a Gaucho fan, some people were a bit more optimistic.
“I thought we played really well even though the scoreboard may say otherwise,” said Coach Pat Higginson. “Overall I’m very satisfied with the game and with our second string goalie, John Echelberger.”