Although the defending United Soccer Coaches national champion and CCCAA State Champion Cerritos College men's soccer team remains unbeaten, they dropped from the top of the Division III (non-scholarship) polls this week down to #6. Their opponent on Tuesday afternoon was Oxnard College, who went from being unranked to #5 in the national poll. As for the Falcons, they remained unbeaten (5-0-1) after their 2-1 win, while the Condors dropped to 3-1-0. Next up for Cerritos will be a 4:00 p.m. non-conference next Tuesday at San Diego City College.
After a scoreless first half where Cerritos controlled possession of the ball for nearly 80% of the time, they were finally able to get on the board in the 48th minute. Starting the play at midfield, sophomore Dominic Valdivia (Loyola HS/Creighton University) sent a pass to sophomore Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) outside the 18-yard box. Diaz then passed to sophomore Bryan Ortega (Paramount HS), who lifted a shot under the far crossbar for his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
A little over 20 minutes later, it was Valdivia once again who had a hand in what would turn out to be the game-winning goal. Spotting freshman Hector Aguirre-Ruiz (Montebello HS) heading across the middle toward the goal line, Valdivia (pictured, left) picked up his second assist of the game, as Aguirre-Ruiz was able to drill a one-timer past the diving Salvador Perez for a 2-0 lead in the 79th minute.
Cerritos continued to control the tempo of the game and possessed the ball the majority of the time. Whenever the Condors looked to threaten, the Falcons back row of defense turned them away and were led by a sophomore quartet of Eugene Martinez (Delille Academy, Belize), David Lermas (Paramount HS/Compton College), Ernie Cueva (Bassett HS) and Jorge Cardona (Connections Academy HS).
Oxnard started to pressure the Cerritos defense even before their second goal, but freshman Luis Enciso (Gahr HS) was there to record four second half saves. However, he wasn't able to come up with a save on a line drive from 25 yards out by Evan Zamora that hit under the crossbar and went into the net just a minute after the Falcons went up, 2-0.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
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