CYPRESS -- The top two teams in the Orange Empire Conference squared off at this year's OEC Women's Water Polo Championships and in the end, it was the Orange Coast College Pirates, who prevailed over Riverside City College, 9-6, on Saturday at Cypress College.
After earning a bye in the quarterfinals, Coast took on Fullerton College in the semifinals and rolled to a 17-7 win. OCC goal scoring machine Bailey Lloyd led the way with seven goals, while Lilli Lindgard, Delaney Mazelin, Shawna Kedzie and Allison Williams each scored two goals.
The Pirates pulled away from the Hornets in the middle two quarters, outscoring FC 11-3 over that span. In goal, Avery Goodall notched 13 saves to help push Coast to the championship finals against the Tigers.
In the fourth meeting of the season between the two schools (RCC had a 2-1 edge in the series heading into Saturday), both teams battled each other for three quarters and the Pirates held onto a slim one-goal advantage (7-6).
But in the fourth quarter, the Pirate defense stepped up and held the Tigers off of the scoring sheet the rest of the match, while the offense picked up a pair of goals to give Coast some much-needed breathing room.
Goodall stepped up big in the fourth and finished the contest with 14 saves. Lloyd notched five more goals to bring her state-best total to 111. She also added to her state-best assist total with four against RCC to bring her season total to 63.
Single goals were added by Lindgard, Mazelin, Laurin Semmelroth and Brooke Branum for the Pirates, who now advance to the Southern California Regional Tournament this weekend at L.A. Valley College and will play on Friday at 4:30 p.m.