M. Soccer: Team stretched to their limits in late win

Orlando Martinez scored the game-winning goal for the Falcons over San Diego City
Orlando Martinez scored the game-winning goal for the Falcons over San Diego City

Facing a San Diego City College team with only two substitutes, it appeared as though the Cerritos College men's soccer team would be able to wear down their opponents early on in their non-conference game on Tuesday. To the credit of the Knights (0-2-0), who scored the first goal of the game, it took the Falcons (5-1-0) longer than expected to take control, as they went on for a 2-1 win.

Playing with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, San Diego City didn't seemed all too fazed that Cerritos was rotating in multiple substitutions at nearly every opportunity. The first scoring change of the game came from the Falcons, as sophomore Alex Rodriguez (Gertz Ressler HS) saw his line drive hit off the crossbar in the 24th minute. If that shot had gone it, the end result quite possibly could have been much different.

"We have a very young team and it showed today," said head coach Benny Artiaga. "I've gotta take the positives out because at least they found a way to win and didn't break down."

But just six minutes later, San Diego City stunned the Falcons with a goal, as Michael Medina drove a shot into the far lower corner under a sprawling Alex Ledesma (Bellflower HS), which seemed to stun Cerritos.

Taking a moment to regroup, the Falcons regained momentum, but still went into intermission down by a goal. Looking like a team with renewed energy coming out of halftime, Cerritos tied the game a minutes into the second half, as freshman Uriel Sanchez (Servite HS) found the lower portion of the goal, when his shot skipped past Knights goalkeeper Christian Medina. Rodriguez, who would be turned away on another great scoring chance later in the game, was credited with the assist.

As time started to tick away, the Falcons were getting closer and closer to breaking the tie, as several chances just missed their mark. However, in the 75th minute, it was freshman Orlando Martinez (Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy HS) who was able to gather the ball in a small group of players and get off a shot hard enough to get past Medina for the eventual game-winner. Freshman Edwin Rodriguez (Jefferson HS) who carried the ball into the box, was able to get the pass to Martinez for his second goal of the season.

Ledesma earned the win and made three saves, with the Falcons out-shooting the Knights, 17-6 on the day.

"We have got to learn that not every team is gonna play you tow-to-toe," added Artiaga. "we'll go back to the drawing board and show the team the areas we need to improve upon."

Photos by Daryl Peterson