Getting their first taste of action in 20 months, the Cerritos College men's soccer team opened the 2021 season with a 2-0 road win against College of the Desert on Friday night. The game was pushed back an hour due to excessive heat, while the teams took mandatory water breaks in each half. The Falcons (1-0-0) will play their home opener on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. when they host Imperial Valley College.
Maintaining possession of the ball for the majority of the first half, Cerritos was still unable to get on the scoreboard. They peppered Roadrunners goalkeeper Sebastian Ascencio with 16 first-half shots, but went into intermission scoreless.
With the weather continuing to play a factor in the energy level of both teams, the Falcons turned their depth into an advantage, as they got on the board in the 75th minute when sophomore Armando Ibarra, Jr. (Downey HS) chipped a ball past Ascencio, with freshman Daniel Villegas (Connections Acadamey HS) assisting on the goal.
That goal seemed to wake up Cerritos, as they erupted onto the field to celebrate their first goal of the game and season. It would only take four minutes for the Falcons to add an insurance goal when freshman Arnold Castillo (Bell Gardens HS) finished the play set up by freshman Marcel Salceda (Baker Web Academy, OR HS). The second team reaction to the goal earned the bench a yellow card. But that would be enough for freshman goalkeeper Pablo Rivera (Basalt, CO HS) and his teammates to secure the shutout and win.
"Very proud of the guys today," stated head coach Benny Artiaga. "The conditions were really tough, and with temperatures hitting 118, it forced the match to be delayed over an hour. And due to Covid protocols, many guys were not allowed to travel. Hopefully, next game, we're at full strength and can start to find the right chemistry. It was a great start to our season."
Photos courtesy of the College of the Desert SID Office
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