M. Soccer: Esteban Camacho signs with Cal State Northridge

Esteban Camacho signs with Cal State Northridge
Esteban Camacho signs with Cal State Northridge

As one of the key figures to the Cerritos College men's soccer team winning the CCCAA State Championship and being named the United Soccer Coaches National Champions, sophomore midfielder Esteban Camacho (Mayfair HS) has signed a National Letter of Intent with NCAA Division I Cal State Northridge. A 1st Team All-South Coast Conference South Division selection as a sophomore, after receiving 2nd Team accolades as a freshman, Camacho was crucial to the team's success with his ability to control the ball at midfield, while also serving as a solid defensive player.

An offensive threat as well, Camacho posted four goals and a pair of assists on the year. He scored twice in a 3-2 win over Chaffey College, including the game-winner just seconds before the final whistle.

"Cal State Northrigde showed interest in me before the season even began and I really appreciated that," said Camacho, who will major in Mechanical Engineering. "I did visit the campus during the season. There were other schools interested in me but the two schools it came down to were UC Riverside and CSUN. I really liked both schools."

Camacho served as a stabilizing force on a team of gifted players. Serving as the team's captain, Camacho took on several roles, both on and off the field, which was something head coach Benny Artiaga found inspiring.

"This is the only year we have ever gone with one captain," said Artiaga. "Esteban is the epitome of a team player. We were only going to go as far as Esteban would take us. I would categorize him as pound for pound our best player with all of the intangibles he brings. There is no question in my mind that Cal State Northridge found a gem."

After the Falcons were eliminated in the state semifinals last season on penalty kicks, and then opened the season with a loss, it was Camacho, along with several other sophomores, that settled the team down. The end result of their work was a 24-game unbeaten streak (22-0-2), including 14 straight wins to end the season, which was capped by a 2-1 win over Golden West College in the state championship game.

"The thing I will remember most from Cerritos is winning this year's State Championship," added Camacho. "This whole soccer season was memorable, from our team trip to Mammoth to winning our conference. But that moment - and amazing feeling - after we won the championship is something I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. I'm definitely going to just miss practicing, playing, and spending time with the team. It's just a lot of fun when we're all together."

Camacho will be joining a Matadors team that went 9-8-1 on the year and ended their season with a 3-2 loss to UC Davis in the first round of the Big West Tournament. Cal State Northridge was the #4-seed in the conference.

"My role at Northridge will be very similar to what my role was at Cerritos: play center defensive mid, win balls, and distribute them," said Camacho. "I ultimately chose Northridge because of their amazing coaching staff, great soccer team, and nice campus. My family and I loved the school when we visited, and I could just see myself succeeding there after I transfer."