M. Soccer: Cerritos shows they can score from any position

Bryan Villalobos (26) scored a hat trick in the Falcons win
Bryan Villalobos (26) scored a hat trick in the Falcons win

In five of their wins this season, the Cerritos College men's soccer team posted scores of 1-0. In their South Coast Conference crossover game against visiting Pasadena City College on Friday, the Falcons (11-1-2) recorded a dominant 7-0 victory. It marked the most goals they scored this season. Ranked #1 in the country, Cerritos will now host East Los Angeles College in a 4:00 p.m. conference crossover game next Tuesday.

GK Jordan Aldama (middle) poses after scoring on a penalty kick The lopsided win saw goals come from common position players, with freshman forward Bryan Villalobos (Salesian HS) recorded a hat trick. They also came from an uncommon position, as freshman defender Ernesto Cueva (Bassett HS) scored twice and assisted on another. But the strangest of all came on the team's final goal, as sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Aldama (North Torrance HS) stepped up and converted on a penalty kick for his first collegiate goal. Aldama also registered his seventh shutout of the year and was asked to make just two saves.

"Today was a good chance for our offense to get on the board," said head coach Benny Artiaga. "The last four goals had been scored by defenders on set pieces, so Bryan Villalobos getting three goals and Kevin Diaz getting three assists was important for us as a unit to trust our attack."

It was a 3-0 game at intermission, with Cueva getting the first goal of the day. On the play, sophomore Erick Gallinar (Connections Academy HS/UC Irvine) sent an inswing corner kick into a cluster of players in front of Lancers (5-7-1) goalkeeper Steven Sandoval. Finding a way to get a piece of the ball, Cueva chipped the ball into the corner of the net. Less than 12 minutes later, Villalobos got the first of his three goals when he settled in front of the net and was able to chip home a loose ball after freshman Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) got the ball through the defense. Playing the ball after bouncing high, Villalobos collected his second goal of the game when he was able to get off a good shot after sophomore Esteban Camacho (Mayfair HS) sent the ball deep into Lancer territory.

Cueva recorded his second goal of the game on another play where there were multiple players in front of the net. Getting control of a Diaz pass, Cueva fired off a shot with enough spin on it to slip through the hands of Sandoval, while Villalobos followed with his hat trick goal 16 minutes later when he scored on a breakaway.

Diaz ended up assisting on three of the goals, while sophomore Bryan Rodriguez (St. John Bosco HS) scored the sixth goal of the game and came close to adding a second just a few minutes later. Gallinar may have gotten off the hardest shots of the day, but two of them hit the crossbar.

"I was very pleased with our demeanor to maintain the shutout, as well," added Artiaga. "I was so proud of Javier Cortez (San Diego Virtual School HS), who was starting in the back for (injured) Luis Lira (La Puente HS). Javi is our best teammate and never complains about not playing, so for him to start and play as well as he did shows how the team is ready to take advantage when their number is called."

Photos by Daryl Peterson