The Saddleback women's water polo team took three of four games over the weekend at the annual Saddleback Invitational. The Gauchos won the final three games by an aggregate score of 43-8.
Saddleback opened the tournament with a narrow 11-7 loss to Palomar College and then went on a tear. The Gauchos completely shut down East Los Angeles College, 14-0, before beating Southwestern College, 15-2, and Rio Hondo College, 14-6.
Saddleback's first win was in dominating fashion, as Kate Curtis recorded a shutout in goal. The Gauchos had a 5-0 lead after the first period and 9-0 at the half before taking their foot off the gas pedal. Sarah Duke led Saddleback with four goals while Maddie Alexander had three. It was believed to be the first shutout in women's water polo history.
The Gauchos then had another big half against Southwestern, leading 12-0 at the break in a 15-2 rout. Ella Catacutan had three goals in the opening half while Keleen Pelfrey had all three goals in the second half.
In game three Saddleback had a 3-2 lead after one period. Rio Hondo tied the game at 6:36 of the second period before the Gauchos went on a run. Saddleback scored four straight goals over a 4.5 minute span to open up a 7-3 lead and never looked back. The Gaucho scoring was balanced, as five different Saddleback players finished with two goals apiece.
Saddleback now stands at 3-2 on the season and will open the Orange Empire Conference schedule on Wednesday at Orange Coast College. Match time is scheduled for 3:00 PM.