M. Soccer: Second half goal leads Falcons to playoff win

Jose Ramirez (diving) scored the game-winning goal in the 1st Round of the playoffs against LB City
Jose Ramirez (diving) scored the game-winning goal in the 1st Round of the playoffs against LB City

With the scored tied 1-1 in the second half, sophomore Jose Espinoza (Salesian HS) headed home the eventual game-winning goal for the Cerritos College men's soccer team on Saturday. The win by the #4-seeded Falcons in the first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs against #13-seeded Long Beach City advances the team to the second round, which will take place on Wednesday. Cerritos (13-4-5) will host #5-seeded Santiago Canyon College (14-3-4), who defeated El Camino College, 2-0, at 2:00 p.m. at the Falcon Soccer Field.

The Vikings (7-7-8) opened the scoring in the 30th minite of the game when a direct kick from Robert Burgos caught freshman goalkeeper Thomas Yeandle (Orange Lutheran HS) off guard. Yeandle (seven saves) appeared to be screened by one of his teammates on the shot and wasn't able to reack quick enough.

But it took less than five minutes for Cerritos to respond with the tying goal, as freshman Edwin Corona (Cathedral HS) chipped a shot past LBCC goalkeeper Kifi Cabrera for his ninth goal of the season. On the play, Espinoza worked the ball through a pair of Viking defenders and sent the ball at the net, where Corona was there to finish the play.

The game was physical on both ends, as the two South Coast Conference opponents were facing each other for the third time this season. In their other two meetings, Cerritos earned a win and a tie.

With play moving back and forth across the field, the Falcons were able to penetrate the first line of defense, with freshman Edward Robles (Annenberg HS) working the ball down the sideline and once he reached the end line, lofted a pass over the Vikings defense. Awaiting the pass was Espinoza, who worked his way to the back corner of the net, where he was able to head the ball in for the game-winning goal.

Cerritos had a chance to add to their lead, but Cabrera stopped a penalty kick from sophomore Thiago Lusardi (Centro Educational Ramos, Brazil HS) in the 88th minute. Corona was pulled down in the box by Moises Cisneros, which set up the penalty kick.

Photos by Daryl Peterson