W. Soccer: Playoff loss ends season for Falcons

Loss ends season for the Falcons
Loss ends season for the Falcons

For the first time since the 2011 season, the Cerritos College women's soccer team lost a playoff game in regulation on their home field. In a 2nd Round Southern California Regional Playoff game on Tuesday, the #4-seeded Falcons (15-5-2) suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of #5-seeded San Diego Mesa College (20-1-2). The setback also snapped the team's 26-match home unbeaten streak (24-0-2), which dates back to 2017. In their last 82 game, Cerritos is now 76-2-4 at home. Last year, the Falcons did have their season end at home at the hands of San Bernardino Valley College, but that came in penalty kicks after regulation and overtime resulted in a tie.

Both teams were the recipients of favorable bounces in the first half, which led to goals. In the 13th minute, Elena Jaramillo sent a direct kick toward the Falcon goal, with the topspin of the ball bouncing over the head of Cerritos goalkeeper Liza Cisneros (Bellflower HS). Just 10 minutes later, freshman Briana Flores (North Torrance HS) saw the ball she sent in have the same type of topspin and softly bounced over the outstretched hands of Olympian goalkeeper Alyssa Warner.

Right before halftime, the Falcons shifted their defenders, with SD Mesa's Kenya Dantu taking advantage of the adjustment. She gained inside position as she entered the 18-yard box and sent a left-footed pass to an untouched Angela Smith, who tapped the ball into the net in the 42nd minute.

In the second half, the Falcons suffered a major blow when sophomore Valeria Corrilo (Dominguez HS) was given a red card on a hard foul in the 61st minute, forcing the team to compete the remainder of the game with just 10 players. Corrila entered the game second on the team in goals (8) and led them with 14 assists. That didn't hinder their scoring chances, as they saw three golden opportunities to tie the game slip away.

On a direct kick in the 67th minute, freshman Alessandra Ramirez (Warren HS) fired off a hard shot, but Warner was able to make a leaping save and tip the ball over the crossbar. A misdirected pass landed in front of sophomore Maria Campos (Paramount HS), but her shot was directed right at Warner, who went down to make the save. The final scoring chance came in the 89th minute when sophomore America Ontiveros (Santa Ana HS) saw her sliding shot roll wide of the net.

For the last two minutes, plus extra time, the Olympians were also short a player, as Violet Renard was issued a red card in the 88th minute after an overly aggressive tackle.