One component of the Cerritos College men's soccer game that will never change, regardless of the score, is how hard they will play for 90 minutes. On Friday, the Falcons (5-0-2), ranked #12 in the nation, took advantage of a shorthanded Golden West College and posted a 4-0 non-conference win. Cerritos scored their first goal in the seventh on a penalty kick, which resulted in the Rustlers (2-1-3) being forced to play a man down the remainder of the game.
"It was a very good start for us today," said head coach Benny Artiaga. "Guys came out with a lot of energy and set the tone for game. Very pleased with the result. I would like to see the guys coming off the sideline in second half play with a little more conviction, but that's something we'll keep striving to improve."
The game's first goal came when sophomore Enrique Penate's (Downtown Magnet HS) shot was deflected by Golden West goalkeeper Daniel Barragan. The ball was still loose and the Falcons were in position to get off another shot. However, Rustlers defender Manny Tovar appeared to have pushed the ball out of the 18-yard box with his hand, which precipitated the red card and penalty kick. Sophomore Pablo Caparelli (Real Salt Lake Academy, UT HS) stepped up and converted the kick for his team-leading fourth goal.
The Rustlers were then forced to play the remainder of the game with just 10 players and did not have enough team speed to keep up, which allowed the Falcons to score all four of their goals in the first half. The Cerritos defense also did a great job of turning away Golden West and not allowing them to set up of a clean shot.
In the 18th minute, Caparelli put defensive pressure on Barragan and took the ball away from him. He quickly got the ball to a wide open Kobe Chavez (North Hollywood HS), who scored into an unprotected goal.
Continuing the aggressive approach on offense, the Falcons made it a 3-0 game in the 34th minute on a beautiful corner kick. Sophomore Uriel Sanchez (Servite HS) sent a ball to the far side of the net, where freshman Jason Alvarez (Norwalk HS) went up and deflected the ball into the net with a nice header.
Right before halftime, the Falcons scored what Artiaga referred to as the team's "best goal of the season". On the play, Chavez completed a nice give-and-go when he nutmegged the defender (passed the ball between the defender's legs while while being tightly defended) and got the back ball to sophomore Gabriel Oropeza (Banning HS/Hope International University), where he was left unprotected for an open shot on goal and he did not miss.
"That goal was such a thing of beauty," commented Artiaga."
The Falcons, who travel to Taft College next Tuesday for a 4:00 p.m. game, outshot the Rustlers, 18-8.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
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