In their South Coast Conference opener, the Cerritos College men's soccer team battled Compton College and went on to post a 4-1 win on Tuesday. The win extended the Falcons (10-0-1, 1-0-0) unbeaten streak to 35 matches (32-0-3), dating back to last season. The team also opened the day maintaining their #4 national ranking by United Soccer Coaches among Division III (non-scholarship) community College. Cerritos has a huge game in front of them on Friday, as they travel to El Camino College (7-0-1), who are ranked #6 in the country.
If not for the stellar goalkeeping of Ruben Martinez for the Tartars (4-5-2, 0-1-1) in the first half, it could have easily been a 6-0 lead by intermission. On four separate occasions in the first half, Martinez made diving saves to turn away headers on excellent scoring opportunities. First, it was sophomore Kevin Diaz (Connections Academy HS) who was turned away, while Eugene Martinez (Delille Academy, Belize) was kept off the scoresheet in the 26th minute when a Compton field player actually was inside the goal when he headed the ball away. Later in the half, Joel Martinez (Southeast HS) had a header knocked away, with Bryan Ortega (Paramount HS) the fourth player to be denied.
Prior to getting denied, Diaz gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute when he chipped home a rebound from Eugene Martinez after Dominic Valdivia (Loyola HS/Creighton University) took the initial shot. Before the end of the first half, Eugene Martinez lifted a pass off a corner kick to Alexis Vera (Fremont HS), who was in the right spot to collect his first goal of the season. The Tartars got on the board in the final minute of the first half when Jorge Moreno completed the play after receiving a flick pass from Jose Oropeza over his head.
Cerritos turned the heat back on in the second half and made it a 3-1 game in the 61st minute, as Nicholas Correa (Downey HS) was able to beat Ruben Martinez to a loose ball and scored into an empty net. They closed out the scoring in the 86th minute when Diaz converted a penalty kick after Martin Velasquez (Paramount HS) was tackled in the box by Ruben Martinez.
Jose Azpeitia (Valencia HS) earned the win in goal and was only required to make one save on the day.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
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