M. Soccer: Falcons post 2-0 win over #11-ranked Rio Hondo

Pablo Caparelli chips in a second half goal in the Falcons 2-0 win over Rio Hondo
Pablo Caparelli chips in a second half goal in the Falcons 2-0 win over Rio Hondo

Entering the day as the first place teams in each of the two South Coast Conference divisions, both the Cerritos College and Rio Hondo College men's soccer teams were looking to send a message to the other. By the final whistle, it was the Falcons who got their message across to the tune of a 2-0 home win on Tuesday. The victory by the #9-ranked Falcons was their sixth in a row and improved their overall record to 11-2-1, while they are now 5-0-0 in South Division play. As for the 11th-ranked Roadunners, they had their seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) snapped and fall to 9-2-3 overall and 3-1-1 in the North Division.

Next up for Cerritos will be a 2:00 p.m. home conference match against Pasadena City College (4-11-1, 0-4-1) on Friday.

"I'm so happy with our performance today," stated head coach Benny Artiaga. "That was a great team we played and our quality of play was outstanding. We saw two great goals today and we're only getting better."

The Falcons scored once in each half, with the first coming in the 27th minute of the game. On the play, freshman Arnold Castillo (Bell Gardens HS) gained control of the ball and dribbled through three Roadrunner defenders before finally placing a hard rolling shot under the diving body of goalkeeper Arturo Bustamante, who was a red-shirt for Cerritos in 2019.

Alex Ledesma extends his shutout minutes to 390 Combining a pressing offense with some smart defensive play, the Falcons limited Rio Hondo to just five shots on the day, with freshman goalkeeper Alex Ledesma (Bellflower HS) posting his sixth straight win and fourth consecutive shutout. Ledesma (pictured, left) has now gone 390 minutes without allowing a goal.

They picked up an insurance goal in the 77th minute, as Cerritos did an outstanding job of passing in traffic and deep inside Rio Hondo territory. Freshman Uriel Sanchez (Servite HS) took control of a clearing pass and worked the ball down the line, where he sent a nice pass into the 18-yard box to Edwin Rodriguez (Jefferson HS). Not missing a step, Rodriguez quickly fed freshman Pablo Caparelli (Real Salt Lake Academy, UT HS), who chipped the ball into a wide open side of the net for his second goal in as many games.

"That was a quality win over a .750 (winning percentage) team," stated Artiaga. "That should really help out our power point rating."

Photos by Daryl Peterson