M. Soccer: Late goal gives Falcons 4-3 win

File Photo: Bryan Villalobos scores late game-winning goal
File Photo: Bryan Villalobos scores late game-winning goal

With time running out in their South Coast Conference South Division game against host Compton College, the Cerritos College men's soccer team saw themselves looking up at a 3-2 deficit. But a pair of late goals, the last coming with less than three minutes remaining on the clock, gave the Falcons a 4-3 come-from-behind win. The victory by the nation's top-ranked team extends their unbeaten streak to 16 in a row (14-0-2), which also includes six consecutive victories. The team will host Rio Hondo College in a conference crossover game at 4:00 p.m. on Friday.

Trailing 3-2 with less than 10 minutes left, the Tartars Carlos Tejada was called for a foul in the 18-yard box, which resulted in a penalty kick. Freshman Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) stepped up and delivered to tie the match and turn all of the momentum toward the Falcons. Five minutes later, freshman Bryan Villalobos (Salesian HS) scored his second goal of the game, which turned out to be the game-winner with less than three minutes remaining.

Compton took a 2-0 lead on a pair of first half goals four minutes apart before sophomore Alberto Carrillo (Lynwood HS) cut the deficit in half in the 42nd minute with Diaz earning the assist. Cerritos was able to tie the game in the second half, as Villalobos was able to chip home a pass from sophomore Erick Gallinar (Connections Academy HS/UC Irvine). It only took the Tartars 3:46 to regain the lead, before the Falcons battles back to score the final two goals and come away with the win.

"This was a gut check for us," said head coach Benny Artiaga. "Compton outplayed us in the first half, they won every aerial ball and won most 50/50 balls. This Compton team will grind you and grind you. Halftime became a character check and an accountability meter. We played our hearts out and we passed one of the most important tests of the season."

Cerritos outshot Compton, 19-11, with sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Aldama (North Torrance HS) posting six saves in the match.