Cerritos College freshman Thiago Lusardi (Centro Educational Ramos HS, Brazil) scored a pair of first half goals to pace the men's soccer team to a 3-1 South Coast Conference win at Long Beach City College on Tuesday. The win improved the Falcons, ranked #4 in the latest CCCAA/CCCSIA poll, to 8-2-2 overall and 4-1-0 in conference play. They will play their second game in a row on the road when they take on Pasadena City College in a 4:00 p.m. game on Friday.
The Falcons jumped on LBCC early, as sophomore Gerardo Soto (Salesian HS) fed Lusardi with a breakaway pass just four minutes into the game, where he beat goalkeeper Jorge Becerra with a nice shot from the left side of the box for a goal. The duo paired up for the second game, as Soto bent a free kick from outside the Viking box that Lusardi headed in for his second goal of the game - and third of the season - in the 23rd minute.
Freshman goalkeeper Benito Gonzalez (Long Beach Wilson HS) got a rare start and was only required to make one save, as his defense held off the Vikings all game. The defensive pairing of Jeffrey Payeras (Animo HS) and Gabriel Rivera (California HS) anchored the back line and limited Long Beach City to just six shots, while the Falcons recorded 16 shots on the day.
In the second half, Cerritos increased their lead to 3-0 in the 55th minute when sophomore Dominic Escobar (Roosevelt HS) sent a nice crossing pass to freshman Nicholas Escalante (California HS), who found the back of the net. The Vikings ruined the shutout bid by Gonzalez in the 80th minute on a penalty kick goal by Francisco Magana.
Photo by Daryl Peterson
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