M. Soccer: Wins advances Falcons to 3rd Round of Playoffs

Christian Hernandez scores the Falcons first goal in a 2-1 playoff win over Santiago Canyon
Christian Hernandez scores the Falcons first goal in a 2-1 playoff win over Santiago Canyon

When watching a soccer game and you don't notice the players on defense, it means they're doing a good job. That was the case for the Cerritos College men's soccer team, who eliminated Santiago Canyon College on Tuesday in the 2nd Round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs on Tuesday. The Falcons (12-3-7) posted a 2-1 win over the visiting Hawks, allowing their lone goal on a penalty kick. The win means Cerritos - seeded #2 - will host #11-seeded Oxnard College, who defeated #14-seeded Southwestern College, 4-1. Saturday's 3rd Round game will be at 2:00 p.m., with the winner advancing to the CCCAA State Championships at Mt. San Antonio College.

Back on September 9, the Falcons and Condors (14-3-6) played to a 1-1 tie in Oxnard.

In the win over Santiago Canyon (14-5-3), Cerritos struck in the 19th minute when sophomore Ricardo Covarrubias (Elizabeth Learning Center HS) sent a perfect free kick in the direction of sophomore Christian Hernandez (John Glenn HS), who headed the ball into the upper corner over goalkeeper Christopher Martinez. Hernandez worked for inside position against Hawks defender John Hanna, which allowed him a clean header on the ball.

The Falcons controlled the tempo offensively, while they prevented Santiago Canyon from any kind of offensive threat for the majority of the game. Led in the back by Covarrubias and Hernandez, along with sophomores Ludwing Vargas (Salesian HS), Jose Ochoa (Paramount HS) and Mario Guerrero (University HS), Santiago Canyon didn't get their first shot on goal until the 59th minute. It was a great scoring chance for Gerardo Arias, but freshman Ivan Del Campo (Granada Hills Kennedy HS) made a point blank save to keep Cerritos on top, 1-0.

Just one minute priot to that save, the Hawks thought they had tied the game when Kyle Pizano got a shot past Del Campo. After a few seconds of cheering from Santiago Canyon and resistance from Cerritos claiming a hand ball had occurred, the goal was disallowed after it was confirmed by the linesman there was a hand ball, which prompted the goal to be waved off.

In extra time, the Hawks gambled by pushing up their back row for more offensive pressure. It backfired, as the Falcons had a 4-on-1 situation which culminated on a Christian Carrillo (Katella HS) goal on a pass from Diego Perez (Fremont HS) that pulled Martinez out of position. Santiago Canyon did make a heated run at the end and received a penalty kick in extra time when the Falcons were called for a hand ball in the box. Andrew Sanders broke the shutout and after a mad scramble in the final seconds, with Del Campo making a crowded save against Ivan Azpeitia, Cerritos came away with the win.

Photos by Daryl Peterson