Faced with a one-goal, fourth-period deficit after controlling most of the match, the Cuesta College women’s water polo team scored four goals in the final four minutes of an 11-9 comeback victory at Citrus on Wednesday.
With four goals from Rachel Gruetzmacher and two each from Molly Casey and America Hall, the Cougars led from the start, and Citrus only tied the score with a four-goal run in the third, capped by a score with four seconds left in the period.
Citrus (5-6) took its first lead of the match early in the fourth before Cuesta (13-2) roared back to even its Western State Conference record at 1-1.
“There was a little bit of a ‘we’re not going to let this happen to us’ kind of thing,” Cougars head coach Pete Schuler said. “It was a kind of nice gut check for the team.”
Gruetzmacher, Casey and Karissa Sternfels, who also scored a goal, had three steals apiece for Cuesta, which will host seven of the top eight ranked teams in the state in the 10-team Rabobank Tournament this weekend.
The Cougars will play No. 5 Long Beach State on Friday at 10 a.m.