The Golden West College women's water polo team added another award to the school's trophy case Saturday by edging host Riverside City College, 12-11, in the California Community College Women's Water Polo State Championships title game at Riverside Aquatic Complex.
Orange Empire Conference and Southern California regional champion Golden West repeated as state champion and put the final touch on a perfect season. The Rustlers finished 29-0, and defeated Riverside in all five meetings this year between the teams.
The Rustlers, who went 28-0 last year, ran their win streak to 57 matches.
"This team wanted to do something special, and it did," said Golden West Coach Kyle Kopp, who guided the program to its third title in four years.
Kopp, who took over as head coach in 2008, won his first title in 2009.
"What separated them, was their desire and ability to work hard and go through quality training on a daily basis," Kopp said. "They really came out with a desire to pursue something at a high level in water polo. They did this day in, and day out, week after week. It paid off for them Saturday."
Sophomore attacker Lauren Vosseler (Pacifica High) was named MVP of the State tournament. Teammates Gabi Mantellato, a sophomore center from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Melissa Bergesen, a sophomore attacker from West Jordan, Utah, were named to the State all-tournament team.
Vosseler and Mantellato both scored four goals in the title game. Freshman center Brigitta Games (Littleton, Colo.) scored twice, and Bergesen scored the first Golden West goal in the final.
The Rustlers advanced to Saturday's title game by defeating Sierra College (Northern California No. 2), 12-5, in the semifinals Friday.
Riverside made it to Saturday's final by knocking off Northern California champion American River, 10-2, in Friday's other semifinal.
The Golden West women's water polo state championship team is: Lauren Vosseler, Gabi Mantellato, Melissa Bergesen, Brigitta Games, Mackenzie Bonk (River Forest, Ill.); sophomore attacker Alexandria Loveless (Long Beach Wilson); sophomore attacker Megan Craig (Penryn, Calif.); sophomore center Kayla Crocco (Reno, Nev.); freshman attacker Tori Cree (Garden Grove High); freshman center Camille Klingfus (La Habra High); sophomore attacker Megan Millan (Ayala High); freshman attacker Samantha McElreath (Taylorsville, Utah); freshman attacker Olivia Romo (Santa Margarita High); freshman defender Ella Sherman (La Quinta La Quinta High); sophomore goalie Elizabeth Montero (El Dorado High), and freshman goalie Melissa Thorn (Pacifica High). Head coach: Kyle Kopp.
Men's Water Polo
The two-time defending champion Rustlers completed their season with a No. 2 state ranking after falling, 11-9, in overtime, to Long Beach City College in the state championship game Saturday at Riverside Aquatic Complex.
Sophomore attacker John Lovat, a former standout at Huntington Beach High, scored twice for Golden West which finished the year 24-4. Also posting two goals for the Rustlers were sophomore attacker Tommy Grall (Coronado High), sophomore defender Ari Marks (Corona del Mar High), and freshman attacker Aaron Polk (Coronado High).
Sophomore attacker Laszlo Nagy (Hungary), who scored once, and sophomore defender Sean Grab (South Pasadena High), were named to the state all-tournament team.
Scott Taylor, who has guided the men's program to four state titles since becoming head coach in 2002, took the Rustlers to the state title game for the ninth time in 10 years.
Golden West has qualified for the state championship tournament every year since 1978, and has competed in the championship final 33 of the last 36 years. The program has won an unprecedented 22 state titles.
The Rustlers took on Riverside City College Saturday in the Southern California Bowl and lost to the host Tigers, 27-17.
Riverside scored the final 10 points of the game to win.
Freshman quarterback Chris d'Entremont (Fountain Valley High) threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns for Golden West. The score was tied (7-7) at halftime, and the Rustlers trailed, 17-10 entering the fourth quarter but tied the score (17-17) on a 27-yard TD pass from d'Entremont to sophomore receiver Kyrel Brown (Cypress High) with 7:01 remaining.
d'Entremont hit sophomore receiver Marcus Sanchez (Anaheim Canyon High) with a 13-yard scoring pass in the second quarter to tie the score at 7-7. A 31-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Peter Marquez (Costa Mesa High) gave the Rustlers their only lead of the game, 10-7, with 9:04 to play in the third quarter.
Golden West turned in one of the most successful seasons in program history. The Rustlers won a school-record nine games during the regular season, and finished 9-2 overall.
The Rustlers also finished the regular season ranked fifth in the state, the highest ranking in school history.
Central Conference champion Riverside (10-1) advances to face top-seeded Fullerton (11-0) in the Southern California regional championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yorba Linda High.
Fullerton rolled past College of the Canyons, 56-17, in the National BowlSaturday, to move on to the Southern California regional final.