On the strength of four first half goals, the Cerritos College men's soccer team posted a 6-2 non-conference win at Cuyamaca College on Friday afternoon. The Falcons (7-0-1), ranked #4 in the nation by the United Soccer Coaches and #2 in the state, have another tough road match next Tuesday when they travel to Taft College. Cerritos defeated the Cougars, 1-0 last season in their matchup.
It was a 2-0 Falcons lead just seven minutes into the game, as the offense came out hot and attacked from the outset. In the fourth minute, crisp passing allowed sophomore Bryan Ortega (Paramount HS) to connect with sophomore Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) inside the 18-yard box, who scored his first of three goals on the day. Just three minutes later, sophomore defender David Lermas (Paramount HS/Compton College) won a 50-50 ball that was gathered by Diaz. Making a move toward the Coyotes goal, Diaz threaded a pass between two defenders to sophomore Bryan Villalobos (Salesian HS), who was in position to tap the ball in for a goal.
Said head coach Benny Artiaga, "This was the offensive explosion we've been waiting for. Dominic Valdivia, Kevin Diaz and Joel Martinez (Southeast HS) were great today. If this carries over, we're gonna be really dangerous. You're always worried that the travel and long distance can have an ill-effect on performance. But the guys were great today."
Before the end of the half, Diaz would collect his second goal when freshman Bryan Perez (Simon Rodia HS) fed him a nice pass, which was culminated after two nice moves. In the 37th minute, sophomore defender Eugene Martinez (Delille Academy, Belize) was aggressively moving the ball upfield and found sophomore Dominic Valdivia (Loyola HS/Creighton University) just outside the 18-yard box, who fired a shot into the net for his first of two goals.
In the second half, Valdivia kept the scoring going when freshman Brandon Montoya (Leuzinger HS) sent a pass into the 18-yard box for the fifth goal of the day. Diaz finished his hat trick in the 65th minute on a header from a crossing pass from freshman Jose Cervantes.
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