Rustler Win State Championship 9-6 over LBCC
The Golden West College Men's Water Polo team finished the 2011 season with a record of 34-1 defeating Long Beach City College 9-6. The Rustlers were crowned State Champions, Southern California Champions, and Orange Empire Conference Champions.
Golden West's only loss came in the first weekend of the season to Long Beach City in overtime, since that mark the Rustlers went on a run of 32 straight wins, knocking out Long Beach City three more times, two of which were in championship matches. Golden West also went 2-0 against the Northern California Champions, West Valley.
In the past 3 years the Rustlers have posted a record of 12-2 against their Southern California rival, Long Beach City, with both losses only occurring in the first week of the season.
Over the years, Golden West has had remarkable success in the classroom and in the pool, tallying 41 Conference Titles, 26 Southern California Championships, 22 State Championships, and over 70 athletes transferred to the NCAA in the past 15 years.
Golden West College won its third California Community College Men's Water Polo State Championship in four years, with a 9-6 victory over Long Beach City College in the championship finale at the Cerritos College Aquatic Complex on Saturday. In 2009, the Rustlers won their last championship with a win over the Vikings in the championship game.
Long Beach City would strike first with two early goals by Tristan Winterhalter and Chase McColl, to take a 2-0 lead over GWC, but Rustler's freshman Bero Rusz answered back with two straight scores to tie the game at 2-2, one of which was a 5-meter penalty shot when LBCC's Michael Carrillo did not leave the field of play after being excluded.
Eric Doyle's goal with 7:26 to go in the half put LBCC back in front 3-2, but Golden West's Bero Rusz – State Tournament MVP – scored twice more before the half to send GWC into the break with a 4-3 lead over the Vikings. Once again another costly mistake by Long Beach as one of their field players attempted to block a shot with two-hands resulting in an immediate 5-meter penalty.
In the third period, Long Beach City couldn't contain the Rustlers any longer as Golden West's Kevin Oliveira put a hat trick on the board to stretch out Golden West's lead to 7-4. Paul Miernicki and Bero Rusz both scored to give the Rustlers a 9-4 advantage allowing Golden West to bring in their bench for the final minutes of the game. LBCC hit two late goals to finish off the scoring in a 9-6 Golden West victory.
Rusz's five goals in the championship game gave him 11 total in two contests to lead all scorers.
The CCCAA State Tournament award winners for the men were led by Golden West freshman Bero Rusz, who earned the tourneys Most Valuable Player award. Rusz followed up a six-goal performance in the Rustlers' opening win over Diablo Valley on Friday, with a five-goal effort in the championship game. Rusz's 11 total goals led all scorers over the two games. Golden West's Marko Madaras (3 goals) and goalkeeper Taylor Lapin (28 saves) joined Rusz on the CCCAA Men's Water Polo State Championship All-Tournament Team.
Men's Championship Game 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
#1S Golden West (31-2) 2 2 4 1 9
#2S Long Beach City (24-4) 2 1 1 2 6
Golden West: Bero Rusz 5 Goals; Kevin Oliveria 3 Goals; Paul Miernicki 1 Goal.
Long Beach City: Chase McColl 2 Goals; Dor Apffel, Tristan Winterhalter, Zlatko Vlasic & Nemanja Jokanovic 1 Goal.
Golden West: Taylor Lapin – 13
Long Beach City: Vince Ward – 7 Saves