Coast fights hard with Hornets, before falling, 16-9

Coast fights hard with Hornets, before falling, 16-9

COSTA MESA -- It was a strong effort by the Orange Coast College women's water polo team, but in the end, the undefeated Fullerton Hornets were just too tough as the host Pirates fell, 16-9, on Wednesday in an Orange Empire Conference matchup.

The Hornets (10-0, 2-0 in OEC) came out strong and shut down the Pirates (4-3, 0-1) in the opening quarter, 4-0. Hart Garcia, who led the FC offense with five goals, scored a pair in the first eight minutes and early in the second quarter, goals by Marissa Vaccher and Kaylen Imset pushed the guests' lead up to 6-0.

But the Pirates fought back and scored five of the next seven goals to get to within three at 8-5. Coast had five different goal scorers during that run, including Bridgette Smitheram, Alexis Heyerly, Hannah Veseth, Lyric Soto and Alexa Clayfield.

In the final seconds of the third quarter, another goal by Soto kept the Pirates close at 11-7 before the Hornets ripped off the next five goals to put the match away.

Soto led the Pirates with four goals, while Clayfield added two.

OCC goalie Amy Jensen had 13 saves, including several stellar stops from point-blank range.

Coast will now head up Cuesta College for a weekend tournament and will open things on Friday against Santa Barbara City College, beginning at 2:30 p.m.