M. Soccer: Win over Taft extends unbeaten streak

File Photo: Falcon men's soccer celebrates another victory
File Photo: Falcon men's soccer celebrates another victory

On Tuesday, the Cerritos College men's soccer team traveled to Taft College and came away with a 4-2 non-conference win. The victory over the Cougars extends the Falcons (8-0-1) unbeaten streak to 33 games (30-0-3) dating back to last season, while they entered the day maintaining their #4 national ranking by the United Soccer Coaches among Division III (non-scholarship) community colleges. The team will close out their non-conference schedule next Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. when they host Norco College (4-3-0) for the first in the program's history.

Sophomore Bryan Ortega (Paramount HS) scored a natural hat trick and assisted on the other goal to give him a team-leading eight goals on the year. He has scored in six of the team's nine games.

He opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he and sophomore Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) worked together to knife through the Taft defense. Once they moved the ball into the 18-yard box, Diaz threaded a pass to Ortega, who was in position to tap the ball into the open net to finish off a beautiful play. Just 12 minutes later, freshman Bryan Perez (Simon Rodia HS) worked around the Cougar defense at the corner flag and lofted a pass to Ortega, who was in position to strike the ball into the net for a 2-0 advantage.

After Taft cut the lead in half before halftime, the Falcons scored the next two goals to put the game out of reach. Diaz and Ortega teamed up once again in the 60th minute when a lob pass from Diaz to Ortega put him inside the box. Once he gained possession of the ball, Ortega squared his shoulders and chipped a shot past the keeper from 12 yards out. The final goal for Cerritos came in the 81st minute when Ortega played the ball across the box where freshman Nicholas Correa (Downey HS) collected the ball and laced a striking shot across the keeper's net and into the corner.

Taft scored a late goal against freshman Jose Azpeitia (Valencia HS), who ended up with five saves on the day.