Pirates topple Grossmont, Ventura at OCC mini tournament

Pirates topple Grossmont, Ventura at OCC mini tournament

COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College men's water polo team hosted Grossmont and Ventura colleges on Saturday for an all-day tournament and the OCC Pirates picked up a pair of wins along the way, topping the Griffins, 21-16, before routing the VC Pirates, 20-5.

The opening match for the Pirates was against one of the top teams in the region and the Griffins matched the Pirates goal for goal throughout most of the first quarter before a last-second goal by Angel Rosado put Coast up, 7-6.

OCC used a strong start to the second quarter to rip off four straight goals over a two-minute span to grab an 11-6 advantage, courtesy of a pair of goals by Nicholas Fichman and single goals by Rosado and Eduardo Wainberg.

Grossmont (19-5) trimmed the five-goal deficit down to three before halftime, but OCC quickly answered back early in the third with back-to-back goals by Fichman to put OCC ahead, 15-10.

The Griffins, which were led offensively by Brock Hammerer's six goals, applied some pressure on the hosts and trailed only by two at 18-16 with 5:43 left in the match, but from there, OCC clamped down on defense and kept Grossmont off of the scoreboard the rest of the way.

Fichman had six goals for the Pirates, while Wainberg and Rosado each added three goals for OCC, while in net, the duo of Steven Magdaleno and Connor Halloran came up with a combined 11 saves.

In the afternoon match, Coast took on Ventura and with 4:43 left in the first quarter, a goal by VC's Tanner Islander trimmed Ventura's deficit to 4-2. That would as close as the guest Pirates would get to the host Pirates the rest of the afternoon as OCC ripped off the next 14 goals, keeping Ventura off of the scoreboard for the next 25 minutes and 44 seconds.

Finally, a 6-on-5 goal by Brandon Bence with 2:59 left in the match ended the scoring drought for Ventura.

Fichman, Gabriele Simonti, Wyatt Ramirez and Ryan Baumann each scored three goals for Coast, while Wainberg and Akili Allen each notched two. 

Magdaleno and Halloran were joined in goal by Parsa Pakdel and the trio accounted for 11 saves for the Pirates.

Up next for the Pirates is a crucial Orange Empire Conference matchup against rival Golden West on Wednesday at GWC, beginning at 4 p.m. Both teams are undefeated in OEC play and the winner of Wednesday's match will earn the top spot in conference heading into the OEC Tournament.