W. Soccer: Defending champs open season with 5-2 win

Falcons post big win over College of the Canyons
Falcons post big win over College of the Canyons

Opening defense of their four straight CCCAA State Championships, the Cerritos College women's soccer team got off to a quick 3-0 start and settled for a 5-2 win over College of the Canyons on Wednesday night. The match was held at Ventura College as part of the Nike Soccer Community College Showcase. The Falcons (1-0-0) will head back to Ventura on Friday for a 5:00 p.m. match against Evergreen Valley College.

Making an immediate impact as a freshman was Itzel Ballesteros (Maywood Academy HS), who had a hand in three of the team's goals, with two finding the back of the net. As for sophomore Amber Whitmore (Los Alamitos HS), she tallied a goal in each half to help the team open up their lead and then restore order after the Cougars got to within 3-2.

Just three minutes into the game, Cerritos took a 1-0 lead when a free kick from 60 yards was headed by Ballesteros to Whitmore inside the six-yard box, who tapped the ball into the net. The two paired up on the team's next goal 15 minutes later, when Whitmore received a pass up the field from freshman  Maria Hernandez (Sierra Vista HS), whose initial shot bounced off the goalkeeper, with Ballesteros coming in to grab the rebound and score.

The Falcons made it a 3-0 advantage in the 36th minute when Trejo fed Ballesteros on the left side of the field. Her crossing pass to sophomore Cheyenne De Los Reyes (Santa Monica HS/Santa Monica College) was finished nicely, and the transfer from Santa Monica College had her first goal with Cerritos.

College of the Canyons made it a 3-1 game late in the first half and then jumped up and scored early in the second half against the Falcon defense and sophomore goalkeeper Ruby Nichols (Bishop Amat HS).

The Falcons regained a two-goal lead two minutes later when sophomore Dana Jacobs (Yorba Linda HS/San Francisco State University) lofted a free kick from 50 yards out and found Whitmore close to the keeper, where she chipped the ball over her for an insurance goal. Ballesteros closed out the scoring in the 70th minute when sophomore Jill Messersmith (Newport Beach HS) spotted her and fed the ball past the defense for a breakaway. She was able to finish it off and Cerritos picked up their first win of the season.