M. Soccer: Win concludes regular season for conference champs

File Photo: Bryan Ortega scored the team's first goal against Long Beach City
File Photo: Bryan Ortega scored the team's first goal against Long Beach City

Three-time South Coast Conference South Division champion Cerritos College men's soccer team concluded their regular season with a 3-1 win at Long Beach City College on Friday. The Falcons (17-1-2, 7-0-1), who are ranked #1 in the nation and state, will be seeded #1 for the Southern California Regional Playoffs when the official selections are made on Tuesday. Winners of nine in a row and unbeaten in the last 19 matches (17-0-2), Cerritos leads the state in power points, which is the determining factor in seeding the teams for the playoffs.

In the win over the Vikings (12-5-4, 4-2-3), the Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when freshman Bryan Ortega (Cesar Chavez HS) played the ball inside LB City territory. After his pass to freshman Bryan Villalobos (Salesian HS) was quickly sent back to him, Ortega worked his way through a pair of defenders and sent a shot to the back of the net. Although Long Beach City tied the match less than a minute before the end of the half, the Falcons were able to regroup at halftime and put two more in the net to secure the victory.

Less than 10 minutes into the second half, sophomore Erick Gallinar (Connections Academy HS/UC Irvine) sent a corner kick into the 18-yard box, where freshman Eugene Martinez (Delille Academy, Belize) headed the ball to freshman defender Ernesto Cueva (Bassett HS). The ball then deflected off Cueva and into the net for his sixth goal of the season and second in as many matches. The scoring concluded in the 70th minute when freshman Amaury Maldonado (Sunny Hills HS) sent a long through-ball to Gallinar, who controlled the ball and took the first shot on goal. Looking to make the save, Vikings goalkeeper Mario DeLaTorre collided with his defender, leaving a loose ball for Villalobos, who finished the play with a goal.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Aldama (North Torrance HS) posted a four-save match on the day to earn the win, as Cerritos out-shot Long Beach City, 13-11.