W. Soccer: Nation's top team posts shutout

The Cerritos women's soccer team at the St. Louis Arch before their game in Illinois
The Cerritos women's soccer team at the St. Louis Arch before their game in Illinois

In their first of two games in Illinois, the Cerritos College women's soccer team posted a 2-0 win over Lewis and Clark (IL) CC on Friday afternoon. The Falcons (5-0-0), the top ranked team in the country by the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) among Division III (non-scholarship) schools, will play College of Lake County (IL) on Sunday morning. The Trailblazers (8-2-1) were ranked #10 in the country among Division I (scholarship) schools prior to the game.

It was a scoreless first half, with Cerritos doing their best to counter a team they've never faced before. They were able to get five shots on goal, with freshman Jill Messersmith (Newport Harbor HS) credited with three of them. The Falcons maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the game, with sophomore goalkeeper Adrianna Salazar (Downey HS) required to make just one save in each half and earned the shutout win.

But in the 60th minute, the team finall got on the scoreboard. Sophomore Nayeli Requejo (Bishop Amat HS), who has traded in her 26 goals from last season, for helpers this year, made a run on the right side past two defenders. Once she reached the end line, she sent a beautiful pass to sophomore Ashley Anaya-Webb (Yorba Linda HS/Cal State Long Beach) around the six-yard box and she scored on the one-timer. It was the ninth assist of the year for Requejo.

With time running out, Cerritos struck for an insurance goal in the 88th minute. From the left side of the field, freshman Kimberly Oliveras (East Career & Technical Academy, NV HS) received the ball from sophomore Kassie Olivas (Laguna Hills HS), who in turn found Ayaya-Webb. She played the ball back to Oliveras and the two traded passes once again. Anaya-Webb then turned the play to the inside of the field at the top of the 18-yard box with room to maneuver. A couple of dribbles was all she needed, as she nailed the ball around the goalie and into the upper right corner on the far post. It was the team-leading ninth goal of the year for Anaya-Webb.