Luna Encinas scored six goals but it wasn't enough as the Pasadena City College women's water polo team fell v. El Camino, 12-8, in the South Coast Conference round-robin opener for both teams and PCC's home opener at Pasadena Poly on Wednesday.
El Camino (1-2), led by six goals from sniper Melissa Cedarholm, jumped out to a 5-1 first-quarter lead. The Lancers rallied to cut it to 6-4 by halftime as goalie Gloria Gray pumped in a long-range shot (in ECC territory) for a goal with just five seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Pasadena (0-3) failed to score in the third quarter as the ECC lead was raised to 10-4. PCC scored four in the fourth, three on Encinas tallies on direct assists by Savannah Ortiz.
The PCC defense had its moments including a 10-save effort by Gray and a solid performance from Katie Ward, who made a game-high seven steals and added three field blocks.
All eight Lancers took at least one shot on goal. Ortiz finished with four assists and five steals while letterman Dymaris Gonzalez picked up her first goal as a Lancer. Iris Lim saw her first action in the second half and both her and Emily Padilla put a shot on goal. Ivy Samuel added two assists.
"We expect to regroup and have a better performance next game," said PCC head coach Terry Stoddard. "Our offense developed a number of good scoring chances, but we didn't finish up to our expectations."
Encinas, who added two steals and fired 10 shots on goal, is the first Lancer to reach six goals since Lilian Tahmasian had the double hat trick in a win over East Los Angeles at the 2021 SCC Championship Tournament.
El Camino goalie Katrina Sanchez recorded 13 saves.
The Lancers return to action on Saturday, Sept. 16 when they take part in the Southwestern Mini Tournament. PCC looks for its first win v. San Diego Miramar (9:20 a.m.) and then play again v. host Southwestern at 1:20 p.m.