El Camino College Union

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Men’s Water Polo squeak out victory against Cerritos

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Freshman forward Nathaniel Griffith found a hole in Cerritos’ defense early and made sure he took advantage, scoring nine goals to lead El Camino (1-0) to their first victory of the season.

The Warriors beat the Cerritos Falcons (1-2) by the score of 17-16 in a game that swung back-and-forth until halftime.

In the third period, that EC coach Noah Rubke called, “the death quarter” due to how gritty the play can get in that period. EC nearly met their halftime total for goals, with six, while only allowing four.

“There was a lead swing (in the third period) where we were tied up again,” Rubke said. “I’m glad our guys were able to bounce back and really earn this win today.”

The star of the game was Griffith, as he was one goal away from tying the EC record for most goals scored in a men’s water polo game by a player.

“Nate Griffith is an amazing shooter … I know he’s going places.” sophomore goalkeeper Nicolas Elias said. “They weren’t respecting him the way he need to be respected.”

EC head coach Corey Stanbury sees potential for Griffith, but doesn’t believe he’s the only offensive weapon on the team.

“He is a really dynamic player, (but) fortunately we got a lot of other people that can do a lot of stuff too,” Stanbury said. “We had other people that were in the right place at the right time too but couldn’t convert quite often as he did.”

For Elias, there is no better way to start the season than to win against Cerritos.

“They were the leader in our conference,” Elias said. “Last year, we got smoked by them and this year … that was a good game right there.”

Despite having a stellar game to start the year, Griffith can still give criticism for himself as well as his team.

“What we really need to work on more is ball control,” Griffith said, “(we) had a bunch of turnovers and made a couple mistakes.”

Coach Rubke believes his team needs to work on conditioning as the season goes on.

“We had a couple guys cramping up,” Rubke said. “I had to (substitute) way more than I would’ve wanted to.”

Click here to access Storify for the live tweets of the match.

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Men’s Water Polo squeak out victory against Cerritos