In a season where the Cerritos College men's soccer team advanced to the CCCAA State Semifinals, the team has announced that seven of their players have signed with four-year schools. The seven, six of which were sophomores include Jose Ponce (University of California, Riverside), Adrian Becerra (Loyola Marymount University), Hernan Perez (University of Providence-Montana), Hector Jimenez (University of Texas of the Permian Basin), Oscar Canela (University of Texas of the Permian Basin), Jose Rivera (Kansas Wesleyan University) and Andrew Perez (University of Texas of the Permian Basin), who is the lone freshman.
Ponce, a two-time 1st Team South Coast Conference selection, was also named 2nd Team All-West Region as a freshman. He was the anchor of the Falcon defense that recorded 13 shutouts on the season, including the first eight games of the year. He missed seven games due to injury, but came back to help Cerritos on their playoff run. Although the Highlanders went 5-13-1 on the year in 2017, they advanced to the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament.
Becerra, a two-time all-conference selection, accounted for three goals and a team-high nine assists as a sophomore. He recorded three games with a pair of assists, and also had a helper in the Falcons game-winning playoff goal against Santa Monica College. The Lions went 4-12-2 last season, but will be able to utilize the speed and Becerra offers from his midfielder position. Becerra is the second Cerritos player to transfer to Loyola Marymount in the last few years. Connor Johnson, who was the MVP of the 2014 State Tournament for the Falcons, just graduated from LMU and was named the West Coast Conference Defensive MVP in 2016.
Another pair of defenders that were essential the team Falcons success last season will continue to be teammates as they head off to play for the Texas-Permian Falcons. Perez was a 2nd Team all-conference selection this season, while Jimenez was a 2nd Team selection his freshman year. Jimenez accounted for a goal and three assists this season, while Canela, finished third on the team with eight goals and 18 points from his forward position. He picked up both goals in the team's 2-1 win over Long Beach City College and will help provide offense for Permian team that posted a 9-7-2 record last year and averaged less than two goals a game.
Limited to just seven games in goal this past season, Perez made the most of it, as he went 6-0-0 with four complete-game shutouts and did not allow a goal all year. He played in 495 minutes and made 24 saves on the year, including a season-high nine stops against Los Angeles Harbor College. The Argos, who went 6-9-0 last season, graduated one of their goalkeepers and Perez will have a strong chance to earn a starting position.
Rivera, who returned to the Falcons after a five-year absence, was impactful as one of the team's most aggressive players from his forward position. He also offered a scoring touch, accounting for four goals, while he led the team in scoring in 2012 with 10 goals. From 2004-10, the Falcon sent 12 players to Kansas Wesleyan, with Rivera the first since then. Last year, the Coyotes went 10-10-0 and lost in the Kansas City Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals.
The Falcons are expected to have three more sophomores sign.
December 7, 2017 M. Soccer: Luis Garcia named All-American
December 1, 2017 M. Soccer: Magical season comes to an end after PK loss
November 25, 2017 M. Soccer: Penalty kicks win sends Falcons to state tournament
November 22, 2017 M. Soccer: Playoff win moves team one step closer to Final Four
November 14, 2017 M. Soccer: Unbeaten Falcons seeded #1 for playoffs
November 11, 2017 M. Soccer: Win secures unbeaten regular season
November 9, 2017 M. Soccer: Tie clinches divisional title for the Falcons
November 7, 2017 Cerritos soccer to host Operation Care Package
November 7, 2017 M. Soccer: Offense lights up scoreboard in shutout win
November 3, 2017 M. Soccer: Team plays to scoreless draw
October 31, 2017 M. Soccer: Early goal doesn't slow down Falcons
October 27, 2017 M. Soccer: Slow start rebounds into 4-1 win
October 24, 2017 M. Soccer: Goal in 90th minute gives team 2-1 win
October 20, 2017 M. Soccer: Ninth win in a row supported by shutout
October 17, 2017 M. Soccer: Aggressive attack leads to 3-1 win
October 13, 2017 M. Soccer: Win over rival keeps team unbeaten
October 6, 2017 M. Soccer: First half output puts LA Harbor away
October 3, 2017 M. Soccer: Offensive output leads to divisional win
September 29, 2017 M. Soccer: Team remains unbeaten after 3-1 win
September 26, 2017 M. Soccer: Shutout keeps Falcons unbeaten
September 19, 2017 M. Soccer: Second half goal secures win for Falcons
September 15, 2017 M. Soccer: Dominant performance turned in by Falcons
September 8, 2017 M. Soccer: Falcons record fifth straight shutout
September 3, 2017 M. Soccer: Cerritos plays to second straight scoreless tie
September 1, 2017 M. Soccer: Falcons play to scoreless draw against Hartnell
August 29, 2017 M. Soccer: Defensive effort accompanies offensive support in win
August 25, 2017 M. Soccer First game nets seven goals for the Falcons