The old adage that "offense wins games, defense wins championships" seems to be most fitting for the 2021 version of the Cerritos College men's soccer team. The Falcons (12-1-1, 6-0-0), who have won seven games in a row, recorded their fifth straight shutout, as they blanked Pasadena City College, 2-0 in a South Coast Conference game on Friday. Ranked #7 in the state, Cerritos will get one of their biggest tests of the season, as they travel to #3-ranked Mt. San Antonio College (11-1-1, 5-0-1) next Tuesday for a 5:00 p.m. conference game. The two have had heated battles over the last 15 years and this meeting should continue that tradition.
As a team, the Falcons only rank 23rd in the state in goals per game, but are second in the state with an 0.83 goals against allowed per game. By contrast, the Mounties are tied for sixth in defense and eighth in goals scored per game, so if either team should find the back of the net, they look to have a huge advantage in the game.
In the win over the Lancers (4-12-1, 0-5-1), it took Cerritos less than 10 minutes to get on the board, thanks to one long pass and a lofted shot. Freshman Pablo Rivera (Basalt, CO HS), getting the start in goal, sent the ball half the distance of the field to freshman Pablo Caparelli (Real Salt Lake Academy, UT HS), who noticed Pasadena City goalkeeper Paul Jing a little too far out of the net. Once he controlled the ball, Caparelli was able to send a shot over Jing and into the net for his third goal in as many games.
"Our team is hitting on all cylinders right now," stated head coach Benny Artiaga. "This young group has bought in to the Cerritos way of playing and it's starting to show. Our goalkeeping has been superb and our ball possession has improved every game. We will have our hands full on Tuesday, but I feel this group is ready."
The defensive core of Caparelli, Jaret Rocha (Paramount HS), Mikel Villarreal (St. John Bosco HS), Daniel Villegas (Connections Academy HS), Ronaldo Ibarra (Montclair HS) and Miguel Martinez (Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy HS) have made things a bit easier for Rivera and Alex Ledesma (Bellflower HS), who came on to play the final 37 minutes against the Lancers, while the Falcon midfielders are adept at possessing the ball and playing their portion of the field tightly.
Although the Falcons were leading just 1-0, it had the feel of a game where they had a multiple goal lead, as they limited Pasadena City to just eight shots, with only one on net. Cerritos added to their lead late in the game, when Uriel Sanchez (Servite HS) spotted the team's leading scorer, Armando Ibarra, Jr., (Downey HS) who displayed his usual magic. The beautiful pass found Ibarra, Jr. faced with Jing and he fired a hard roller to the far corner of the goal for his 14th tally of the season.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
January 10, 2022 M. Soccer: Trio of players make their four-year decisions
November 27, 2021 M. Soccer: Season comes to an end with playoff loss
November 23, 2021 M. Soccer: #2-seeded Falcons one win away from state tournament
November 20, 2021 M. Soccer: Team extended to overtime before defeating Norco
November 18, 2021 M. Soccer: Team has 10 players earn conference awards
November 16, 2021 M. Soccer: Falcons seeded #2 for SoCal Regional Playoffs
November 12, 2021 M. Soccer: Falcons playing for conference tournament title
November 12, 2021 M. Soccer: Falcons settle score with Long Beach City
November 9, 2021 M. Soccer: Win sends Falcons to conference tournament finals
October 29, 2021 M. Soccer: Unbeaten streak ended by Long Beach City
October 26, 2021 M. Soccer: Road win at Mt. San Antonio biggest of the season
October 22, 2021 M. Soccer: Defense continues to come up big in shutout win
October 19, 2021 M. Soccer: Falcons post 2-0 win over #11-ranked Rio Hondo
October 15, 2021 M. Soccer: Cerritos wins fifth straight after 2-0 victory
October 12, 2021 M. Soccer Falcons record sixth shutout of the season
October 8, 2021 M. Soccer: Scoring machine keeps churning for Falcons
October 5, 2021 M. Soccer: Armando Ibarra nets pair of goals in Falcons win
September 28, 2021 M. Soccer: Falcons record 3-0 shutout win in final non-conference game
September 24, 2021 M. Soccer: Cerritos plays #2 Taft to a scoreless tie
September 14, 2021 M. Soccer: Team stretched to their limits in late win
September 8, 2021 M. Soccer: Early deficit doesn't slow down Falcons
September 7, 2021 M. Soccer: Hartnell Tournament nets Falcons split in two games
August 31, 2021 M. Soccer: Unrelenting offensive attack leads to 4-0 win
August 27, 2021 M. Soccer: Falcons start the season with 2-0 win