M. Soccer: Second half goal leads Falcons to conference win

The men's soccer team celebrates their 1-0 win
The men's soccer team celebrates their 1-0 win

With about 25 minutes remaining in their South Coast Conference match against Compton College on Friday, the Cerritos College men's soccer team found a way to post another close win. The Falcons (7-1-1, 2-0-0), who are ranked #2 in the country and #1 in the state, picked up their fourth shutout of the season, all by 1-0 scores. The team will travel to El Camino College on Friday for a 4:00 p.m. conference match.

Controlling the tempo of the game, the Falcons took shots at the Tartar (2-4-1, 0-1-0) at every opportunity. They only put a few on goal until the 64th minute when freshman Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) finished off a nice station to station passing play by Cerritos. Freshman Oscar Penate (Connections Academy HS) moved the ball down the left side of the field and drew attention from a pair of Compton defenders. He fed a pass across the middle to freshman Brandon Pelayo (Cesar Chavez HS), who quickly directed the ball to the foot of Diaz, who chipped the ball past Tartar goalkeeper Jaime Serna for his team-leading sixth goal.

The team played without two of its starters, as midfielders Erick Gallinar (Connections Academy HS/UC Irvine) and Eugene Martinez (Delille Academy, Belize) was held out of the game. They saw their spots on the field filled admirably by a host of players, including freshman Alexis Vera (Fremont HS) and Jorge Cardona (Connections Academy HS). Also stepping to to play well were Penate, Carlos Perez (Mayfair HS) and Bryan Villalobos (Salesian HS), with Alex Rodriguez (Gertz Ressler HS) getting three shots on the day.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Aldama (North Torrance HS) didn't see one shot come his way, as Compton didn't attempt one the entire match. By contrast, the Falcons took 22 shots, with five of them on goal.