M. Soccer Falcons record sixth shutout of the season

Ernesto Vergara played a solid game on both ends of the field for the Falcons
Ernesto Vergara played a solid game on both ends of the field for the Falcons

In what turned out to be a defensive battle, the Cerritos College men's soccer team recorded their sixth shutout of the season, as they defeated visiting Los Angeles Harbor College on Tuesday. The South Coast Conference win by the Falcons improved their season record to 9-2-1, and are now 3-0-0 in conference action, with the Seahawks dropping to 6-7-1 and 0-3-0. Cerritos will travel to Los Angeles City College on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. match. It will be the first meeting against the Cubs since they dropped their program 12 years ago.

The game featured the state's top two leading goal scorers, Armando Ibarra, Jr. (Downey HS) of Cerritos and Fernando Alejo of LA Harbor, who each entered the day with 13 goals. Over the course of the 90 minutes of play, neither play had a real chance of adding their their total, thanks in part to the tight defense played by both teams. Both had a pair of shots, but none of them on goal.

The Falcons did have an early chance to get on the board when Arnold Castillo (Bell Gardens HS) saw his hard shot hit the lower corner of the post.

It wasn't until the 31st minute before Cerritos scored what would be the game's lone goal. With the team putting pressure on the Seahawks defense, freshman Chris Corona (Pioneer HS) was able to plant himself in front of the goal and was in the right spot when a spinning loose ball landed in front of him and he was able to get enough on a shot to get past goalkeeper Wilber Coyt. It was Corona's first goal of his collegiate career.

The Falcon defense clamped down on Alejo, leaving LA Harbor to look elsewhere if they were going to get on the scoreboard. Freshman defender Jaret Rocha (Paramount HS) played a solid game on the back line, and was aided by the play of Ernesto Vergara (Salesian HS), Mikel Villarreal (St. John Bosco HS), Miguel Martinez (Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy HS) and the rest of the team that cleared any potential chances before they could develop. Goalkeeper Alex Ledesma (Bellflower HS) won his fourth straight start and picked up his third shutout during that span.

Photos by Daryl Peterson