M. Soccer: Overtime playoff win advances Falcons to next round

File Photo: Jordan Aldama was put to the test in the Falcons playoff win
File Photo: Jordan Aldama was put to the test in the Falcons playoff win

Locked in a tight defensive battle, the Cerritos College men's soccer team scored the game's lone goal in overtime to post a 1-0 win over visiting Oxnard College on Tuesday. The win by the #1-seeded Falcons (19-1-2) advances them to the 3rd Round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs, where they will host #5-seeded Santa Monica College on Saturday with gametime still to be determined. Last season, Cerritos defeated the Corsairs, 2-1 in a 2nd Round playoff game. A win on Saturday and the Falcons would be making a repeat visit to the CCCAA Final Four, which will be held on November 30 and December 2 at Ventura College.

If not for sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Aldama's (North Torrance HS) three monstrous saves in the 32nd minute of the match, the Falcons might not be preparing to play another game. In what appeared to be a routine play, the #8-seeded Condors (14-5-4) were able to work their way deep into Cerritos territory. Pinned into the far corner in front of the net, Oxnard's Alejandra Estrada was able to get three point blank shots that Aldama turned away. Each save resulted in a rebound for Estrada, who saw each of his attempts denied. Aldama, who recorded his second shutout in a row and fourth in the last five matches, made five saves in the first half and seven on the day.

Aldama also posted a huge point blank save on Adolfo Magana in the 41st minute after he fired off a shot from the middle of the 18-yard box.

The Falcons scored the game's lone goal in the 97th minute on a set piece. Sophomore Erick Gallinar (Connections Academy HS/UC Irvine) lined up for a corner kick and sent the ball to the far side of the Oxnard net. Freshman Eugene Martinez (Delille Academy, Belize) used his 6-foot-1 frame to outjump 6-foot-4 Noah Dollenamyer and headed the ball to the opposite side of the keeper's net. With goalkeeper Ian Hernandez playing the first ball, the header cleared the cluster of players on the far side of the net and landed in front of sophomore Alberto Carrillo (Lynwood HS), who was in position to chip the ball into an open net for his third goal of the season.

Much of the team's success on the day goes to Aldama, as well as his defenders in front of him, who battled with the Oxnard forwards all day. Joining Martinez were sophomores Esteban Camacho (Mayfair HS) and Luis Lira (La Puente HS), along with freshman Ernesto Cueva (Bassett HS). Aside from the three-shot barrage from Estrada in the first half, the Condors got off eight shots the remainder of the game.

Cerritos had two goals called off due to offside, including one from freshman Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) in the 42nd minute. The Falcons finished the match with 13 shots, with six of them on net.