The Cuesta College women’s water polo team held off a four-goal rally by Santa Monica in the fourth period to move above .500 and win its Western State Conference opener 9-8 on Thursday.
Santa Monica erased an 8-2 deficit heading into the fourth period to tie the score while the Cougars (9-8, 1-0 WSC) came up empty on two possessions where they drew ejections.
With only minutes left, Santa Monica’s third ejection allowed Cuesta’s Ally Bernard to score the game-winner on a rebound. Bernard finished with three goals, and Sophie Mouret led the Cougars with four.
Julia Tatarian had two scores for Cuesta, and forced a Santa Monica turnover with 18 seconds left, allowing the Cougars to run out the clock.
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Bernard had five steals, bringing her state-leading total to 94 and inching closer to the program record of 107 set in 1999.
Cuesta men's water polo team wins easily
The Cuesta College men’s water polo team dominated Santa Monica, winning 17-1 despite missing two starters in their conference opener.
Eric Marsh and Luka Vukomanovic scored three goals each for Cuesta (8-5, 1-0 WSC), while Kevin Deckel, Spencer Richards and Luke Peltzer added two.
Tom Ross made seven saves for the Cougars.