M. Soccer: Cerritos dominates in shutout win

File Photo: Dominic Valdivia (13) and the Falcons shut out East LA
File Photo: Dominic Valdivia (13) and the Falcons shut out East LA

Although the final score was not indicative of how much the Cerritos College men's soccer team dominated East Los Angeles College on Tuesday, the 1-0 win did extend the team's unbeaten streak. The Falcons (12-0-1, 3-0-0) outshot the Huskies (4-9-2, 1-1-1), 22-8, with five of those shots coming in the first half that either just missed an open net or were turned away. With the win, Cerritos extended their unbeaten streak to 39 matches in a row (36-0-3) and will play their next two South Coast Conference matches on the road. They will travel to Los Angeles Harbor College on Friday for a 3:00 p.m. start.

After a pair of shots missed the net, sophomore Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) did find the back of the net in the eighth minute with what would turn out to be the lone goal of the game. Sophomore Dominic Valdivia (Loyola HS/Creighton University) got the play started when he sent the ball deep into East LA territory. Sophomore Ernie Cueva (Bassett HS) was able to re-direct the ball, and when his shot wasn't available, he spotted Diaz who made one move to his left to get around goalkeeper Oscar Ponce, and scored into an empty net. It was the ninth goal of the season for Diaz.

The Falcons appeared to have scored in the 37th minute, but sophomore Bryan Villalobos (Salesian HS) was ruled to be offside, which negated the goal. Just six minutes later, sophomore Eugene Martinez (Delille Academy, Belize) had his header off a corner kick hit squarely on the post and turned away.

"I'm a little disappointed in our overall performance today," said head coach Benny Artiaga. "We were a little too casual at times and East Los Angeles did a great job of defending 11 guys behind the ball. We train and train against teams like that quite often and we did not execute as we should have. Of course, a win is a win, and we'll continue to work at being more efficient in the final third of the season."

In the first half, Cerritos possessed the ball for over 90% of the time and were rewarded with 11 corner kicks. Although they didn't cash in on any of them, the second half was more of the same, with the Falcons receiving 11 more set pieces with corner kicks.

Defensively, the goalkeeping tandem of Luis Enciso (Gahr HS) and Jose Azpeitia (Valencia HS) were not tested and only faced one shot on goal in the second half.