Through the first seven games of the season, the Cerritos College men's soccer team has kept their opponent off the scoreboard. The school record consecutive shutout streak continued on Tuesday, as the Falcons (4-0-3), blanked host Taft College. The team has moved up to #6 in the national ranking by the United Soccer Coaches among Division III (non-scholarship) community college teams. Cerritos will now get a week's rest before they open South Coast Conference crossover play and host Pasadena City College at 4:00 p.m. next Tuesday.
"I'm really proud of this team for getting yet another shutout," said head coach Benny Artiaga. "Taft is a very tough place to play and without our captain (Jose Ponce), I didn't know how we would react."
The Falcons came out and immediately had a scoring chance, as sophomore Hector Jimenez (South East HS)sent a pass into the 18-yard box to sophomore Oscar Canela (Paramount HS), but had his shot attempt blocked. Still early in the first half, sophomore Marc Calderon (Elizabeth Learning Center HS) sent a set piece pass to sophomore Jose Rivera (Torrance HS), who also had his shot deflected, with his rebound attempt coming up short. Before the end of the first half, Cerritos had several more scoring chances.
They finally found the back of the net in the 71st minute when the Falcons strung together numerous passes on their push from their own end of the field. Sophomore Adrian Becerra (Morningside HS) passed to sophomore Luis Garcia (La Habra HS), who quickly got the ball to freshman Christian Perez (Paramount HS). The give-and-go back to Garcia allowed him to take on the final Cougars defender at the 18-yard box, where he made a great move and lined a shot into the net.
"Chris (Perez) did a great job of holding the ball on a pass from Luis (Garcia), who in turn, made a run off the ball, where Chris gave it back to him," added Artiaga. "(Another) great shot by Luis resulted in a goal. I was really pleased with the play of Eric Payeras, who anchored the defense and played yet another great game."
Freshman Jordan Aldama (North Torrance HS) picked up his sixth shutout of the season and made six saves.
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