M. Soccer: Falcons defeat Rio Hondo, 2-1 to take 5th place in SCC Tournament

Chris Ramirez (17) prepares to score the Falcons first goal into an empty net against Rio Hondo
Chris Ramirez (17) prepares to score the Falcons first goal into an empty net against Rio Hondo
A goal early in the second half proved to be the game-winner for the Cerritos College men's soccer team in the South Coast Conference Tournament fifth place game on Tuesday. The Falcons (12-5-4) posted a 2-1 win over Rio Hondo College, which was their second win in a week against the Roadrunners. Cerritos had won the last two conference tournament championships. Next up for Cerritos will be the Southern California Regional Playoffs. The seeding meeting for the playoffs is scheduled for next Monday, while the first round will take place on November 18.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the first half, thanks to some fine passing. On the play, freshman Brandon Sanchez (Long Beach Jordan HS) took control of the ball at midfield and sent a long pass deep into Rio Hondo territory. That pass landed in front of freshman Halmar Carranza (Lakewood HS), who sent a quick crossing pass to freshman Chris Ramirez (Bishop Mora Salesian HS), who finished the play by chipping a shot into the goal in the 34th minute.
Early in the second half, the Roadrunners took advantage of poor communication on defense by the Falcons. Thinking they were clearing the ball, sophomore goalkeeper Juan Pablo Camacho (Norwalk HS) let his guard down, which allowed a pass back to him roll into the net in the 47th minute.
Not allowing that mishap to keep them from their intended goal, Cerritos responded nine minutes later and scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal. With commotion and confusion deep in Rio Hondo territory, freshman Donavan Perez (South East HS) was able to feed a crossing pass to sophomore Mark Cristino (Downey HS/UC Riverside), who fired a shot into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the year.
If not for Rio Hondo goalkeeper Diego Bastias, who came in to play in the second half, the Falcons could have scored at least three more goals. Bastias turned away point blank shots from Chris Martinez (Montebello HS/Mt. San Antonio College) in the 64th minute, and Kevin Meza (ASU Preparatory Academy HS/Northern Illinois University)  in the 88th minute. Prior to the Diaz save, Miguel Gonzalez hit the post in the 80th minute. 
Cerritos received solid goalkeeping from Camacho, who turned away eight shots and earned the win.
Photos by Daryl Peteron