W. Soccer: National awards received

(L-R) Alyssa Cabral, Ruben Gonzalez, Alexis Carrillo and Claudia Lopez receive their national awards
(L-R) Alyssa Cabral, Ruben Gonzalez, Alexis Carrillo and Claudia Lopez receive their national awards

A trio of Cerritos College women's soccer players, along with head coach Ruben Gonzalez, were in Philadelphia, PA over the weekend to receive their national awards. The Falcons, who won their second straight National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Championship among Division III (non-scholarship) schools, as well as the CCCAA State Championship, had three of their players earn All-American honors. Gonzalez was also awarded the National Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.

"Being recognized for this award once was very humbling, and quite overwhelming to be acknowledged two years in a row," said Gonzalez, who has guided his Falcon teams to three National Championships and four state titles in his nine seasons. "We had a very good team and the hard work by the coaching staff and players paid off. I've very happy for our players that were nationally recognized, as well."

Ruben Gonzales was named the National Coach of the Year for the second season in a row Sophomore Claudia Lopez (Downey HS), who was named the Most Valuable Player of the state tournament, scored a pair of goals in the team's 3-0 win over Santiago Canyon College in the championship game. She also had a third denied due to an offside call, while she accounted for a goal and assist in the team's 7-0 semi-final win in limited time against Foothill College. Lopez was honored as the NSCAA National Player of the Year, while teammate Alexis Carrillo (Bishop Amat HS) was also named 1st Team All-American and Alyssa Cabral (Bishop Amat HS) earned 2nd Team All-American honors for the second year in a row.

Lopez finished the season with a team-high 27 goals and 16 assists. Her 70 points are the third most in school history behind Monique Cisneros, who had 82 in 2008 and Corina Villegas, who had 81 points in 2007. The 27 goals are the fourth most in a season Falcon history, while her 16 assists are tied for the seventh most. Carrillo concluded the season 17-0-1 and had an 0.43 goals against average while surrendering just seven goals on the year. She posted five shutouts by herself and shared in 11 more during the season. Cabral was the anchor of the defense that allowed just 10 goals all year and recorded one assist on the season.

"This is a really great honor that I didn't expect," said Lopez, who is considering several colleges that she's interested in transferring. "We had a great team and none of this would have been possible without their hard work everyday in practice and in the games."

Photos courtesy of Ruben Gonzalez