W. Soccer: First round battle won by Cerritos, 2-1

Nia Thompson (pink headband) scored the game-winning goal against Long Beach City
Nia Thompson (pink headband) scored the game-winning goal against Long Beach City

In their Southern California Regional Playoff 1st Round game, the Cerritos College women's soccer team did one of the toughest things to do in sports. The Falcons (15-4-2), the #4-seeded team for the playoffs, defeated #13-seeded Long Beach City College (14-6-0), 2-1, which was their third win of the season over the Vikings. In their last 16 meetings with Long Beach City, Cerritos is now 15-0-1, while they are 26-2-1 since 2006. Next up for the Falcons will be a 2:00 p.m. game against #5-seeded San Diego Mesa College on Tuesday.

Not playing their best in the first half, the Falcons still opened up a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute when sophomore Valeria Corrilo (Dominguez HS) beat the Vikings defenders to a loose ball and chipped in a shot past LBCC goalkeeper Arianna Perez. Prior to the end of the first half, the Vikings received a penalty kick after a hard foul was called against Cerritos in the 18-yard box. Leading scorer Allison Rose Veloz stepped up and converted the kick for her 19th goal of the season.

Needing to pick up their offense in the second half, the Falcons were able to break through on a corner kick to score the eventual game-winning goal in the 58th minute. On the play, freshman Alessandra Ramirez (Warren HS) sent a corner kick to the far post, where sophomore Nia Thompson (Kennedy HS/Alabama A&M University) was able to get enough on her header for it to roll into the net for her team-leading 15th goal of the season.

The rest of the game was centered around keeping Veloz off the ball, and the defense was successful, as the was limited to just one shot on goal in the second half. Joining sophomore America Ontiveros (Santa Ana HS) on defense were Ramirez, as well as freshmen Briana Flores (North Torrance HS), Aubree Stevens (Pacifica HS) and McKenzie Cooper (Temescal Canyon HS).

The playoff win extended the team's unbeaten home playoff unbeaten streak to 19-0-2 since 2012. The Falcons did tie San Bernardino Valley College in last year's playoffs, and saw their season end on penalty kicks, but did not lose in regulation or overtime. Cerritos is now 24-0-2 in all home games since 2017 and have compiled a 76-1-4 home record since 2012.

Photos by Daryl Peterson