Golden West wins second staight men's water polo championship with 10-8 victory

Golden West wins second staight men's water polo championship with 10-8 victory

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Matheus Santos had a game-high four goals and Ben Morrison pitched in with two as Golden West College completed its second straight unbeaten season with a 10-8 victory over West Valley on Friday at Cuesta College, claiming its second straight California Community College Athletic Association Men's Water Polo Championship and the Rustlers' fourth since 2011. 

Golden West, finished 31-0 for the second straight year and ran its current winning streak to 62 games. West Valley, which beat perennial power Long Beach City College, 11-10, in overtime on Friday, finished another outstanding season with a 31-3 record. Sina Gonzalez Lara paced the Vikings with three goals.

Golden West has been the dominant program throughout the history of community college men's water polo and the Rustlers continued to show it in 2017. Their state title was their 25th since the first championship in 1976. It was also the sixth time they've won at least two in a row.

It took Golden West more than a quarter to gain more than a one-goal lead on West Valley after taking a 2-1 lead after the first quarter. But goals by Santos, Morrison and Guillermo Ocasio over the first three minutes of the second quarter gave Golden West a 5-1 lead.

West Valley wasn't ready to back down, however, tallying three straight on a pair of goals from Jafet Hernandez and another from Ivan Stefanovic to get to within 5-4 early in the third quarter. But Lachlan Trabinger - selected as the tournament MVP led a three-goal run for Golden West the rest of the period to make it 8-4 and the Rustlers were able to hold off West Valley the rest of the way.

Hernandez and Enrico De Munno scored twice for West Valley to round out the Vikings' scoring while Marko Kruska had six saves in the cage. Nick Hallam and Nicky Ure also scored for Golden West while Nolan Strout had nine goalie saves.

MVP - Lachlan Trabinger (Golden West)
Nolan Strout (Golden West)
Matheus Santos (Golden West)
Marko Kruska (West Valley)
Sina Gonzalez Lara (West Valley)
Myles Martinez (Long Beach City)
Samuel Hastie (Sierra)