M. Soccer: First half offense propels Falcons to 4-1 win

File Photo: Jose Lopez had a pair of assists against Compton College
File Photo: Jose Lopez had a pair of assists against Compton College

Looking to make an early offensive impact after seeing their four-match unbeaten streak come to an end, the Cerritos College men's soccer team scored four times in the first half. The end result was a 4-1 South Coast Conference win over Compton College on Friday. The Falcons (10-5-3, 4-2-2) will host Rio Hondo College next Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in their regular season finale. The team will compete in the conference tournament starting next Friday.

It only took Cerritos one minute to get on the scoreboard, as Jose Lopez (MY Academy HS) and Donavan Perez (South East HS) connected for one of their two tallies. On both occasions, Lopez was able to send a through ball past the Tartars defense, where Perez was able to finish. The two goals by Perez put him in team lead with nine on the season and three in the last two games, while Lopez has now assisted on four goals in the last six games.

The Falcons could have added to their lead earlier, but Chris Martinez (Montebello HS/Mt. San Antonio College) missed on his penalty kick in the fifth minute.

The offense didn't stop, as D'Alessandro Rivera (Mater Dei HS) picked up his second goal of the year in the 15th minute. In the first half, Cerritos recorded 19 shots, with one of the final ones of the first half finding the back of the net. In the 39th minute, sophomore Kevin Meza (ASU Preparatory Academy HS/Northern Illinois University) completed a play that started with Chris Ramirez (Bishop Mora Salesian HS) gaining possession of the ball at midfield. He fed Meza, who drilled home his fourth goal of the year.

"It was 4-0 at half and we decided to give everyone a chance to play," said head coach Benny Artiaga. "But what they don't realize is that the line-up shortens in playoffs and these are golden opportunities to show us they deserve more minutes. Regardless of our boring play in the second half, we got out of there without injuries and that's all that matters."

Sophomore goalkeeper Steven Ruiz (Cathedral HS) turned away four shots to record the win in net.