W. Soccer: Four-goal second half leads Falcons

File Photo: Natalie de Leon scored a pair of goals for the Falcons
File Photo: Natalie de Leon scored a pair of goals for the Falcons

A four-goal second half by the Cerritos College women's soccer team propelled them to a 6-2 South Coast Conference win over Los Angeles Harbor College on Friday. The South Division win, which was played at the Toyota Center in Torrance, moved the Falcons (9-1-0, 3-0-0) into sole possession first place. The team will host El Camino College (7-1-3, 2-0-1) at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

With the game knotted at 2-2, sophomore Natalie de Leon (St. Joseph HS) guided a pass through the defenders to freshman Itzel Ballesteros (Maywood Academy HS), who went in untouched and scored on a breakaway in the 55th minute for the eventual game-winning goal. The Falcons weren't done, because four minutes later, freshman Maria Hernandez (Sierra Vista HS) won the ball at midfield and quickly saw that sophomore Ashli Villalobos (Mayfair HS/Cal State Los Angeles) was open in Seahawk territory and fed her the ball. Villalobos found sophomore Cheyenne De Los Reyes (Santa Monica HS/Santa Monica College) unmarked in the 6-yard box and she completed the play with an insurance goal in the 59th minute.

Cerritos added another goal in the 70th minute due to their team speed, as Hernandez sent a ball past the LA Harbor defenders and Ballesteros converted her second breakaway goal of the game. The Falcons closed out the scoring 10 minutes later when sophomore Jill Messersmith (Newport Beach HS) worked the ball away from the Seahawks and started an offensive push. Running in the middle of the field was de Leon, who took on two defenders and after dribbling through them, drilled a shot into the net for her second goal of the game.

Returning in goal for the Falcons was sophomore Ruby Nichols (Bishop Amat HS), who posted five saves and allowed two quick goals late in the first half. Villalobos and de Leon accounted for the team's two first half goals.