M. Soccer: Cerritos plays #2 Taft to a scoreless tie

Armando Ibarra, Jr. had several scoring chances in the scoreless tie
Armando Ibarra, Jr. had several scoring chances in the scoreless tie

Taking on the #2-ranked team in the state, the Cerritos College men's soccer team was without one of the most important pieces of the team on Friday. The Falcons (5-2-1), ranked #12 in the state, were without head coach Benny Artiaga, who was sitting out a one-game suspension after receiving a red card in the team's previous game. Even more inspired than normal, Cerritos had all of the game's scoring chances against the Cougars (7-0-3), who were unable to find the net in a 0-0 tie. The Falcons controlled the tempo the entire game and attacked the Cougars defense for nearly the entire 90 minutes. The team will now host Norco College in their final non-conference game at 2:00 p.m. next Tuesday.

The Cerritos defense held Taft without a shot on goal in the first half, and limited them to just two on the day. A lot of that credit goes to the last line of defense for the Falcons, which included Ronaldo Ibarra (Montclair HS), Miguel Martinez (Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy HS), Pablo Caparelli (Real Salt Lake Academy, UT HS)and Mikel Villarreal (St. John Bosco HS), along with goalkeeper Alex Ledesma (Bellflower HS), who are all freshmen.

Offensively, the Falcons had equal chances in both halves, with sophomore Armando Ibarra, Jr. (Downey HS) presented with the majority of opportunities. Of his eight shots, four had good chances of going in, with two of them on goal. He saved his best chance for the final minute of the game, as his shot was stopped on a diving save from Cougars goalkeeper Jaime Toscareno. Freshman Eduardo Exiga (Bellflower HS), who just entered the game, was able to feed Ibarra the ball, but was denied.

Earlier in the second half, freshman Orlando Martinez (Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy HS) had a glorious chance, but his line drive shot just cleared the crossbar in the 77th minute.

Photos by Daryl Peterson