W. Soccer: Falcons clinch division title with win

File Photo: Sophie Saouma and the Falcons clinched the division title with their win
File Photo: Sophie Saouma and the Falcons clinched the division title with their win

For the 12th season in a row, the Cerritos College women's soccer team has captured the South Coast Conference championship. The Falcons (17-1-1, 7-0-0), winners of their last 13 games, posted a 2-0 shutout against second place Long Beach City College on Thursday to earn the title. The two teams will close out the regular season on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Cerritos in a rescheduled game from October 10. The Vikings needed to beat the Falcons twice in order to win the South Division title. The first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs will get underway on Saturday, October 18.

Scoreless after the first half, the Falcons didn't get on the scoreboard until the 63rd minute when sophomore Itzel Ballesteros (Maywood Academy HS) collected her state-leading 24th assist when she fed a through-pass to freshman Stephanie Nava (Shadow Ridge, NV HS), who chipped the ball past LBCC goalkeeper Angelique Anguiano for her eighth goal of the season. The 24 assists by Ballesteros moves her closer to the school-record of 28 in a season by Nayeli Requejo in 2014.

Long Beach City was able to stay within striking distance, thanks to Anguiano, who made five saves. On the other side of the field, freshman goalkeeper Deisy Rodriguez (Katella HS) wasn't required to make any saves, as the Vikings took six shots, with none of them on goal. It was her sixth complete game shutout of the season, while she has been part of 12 shutouts on the year.

With time running out in the game, Cerritos took advantage of Long Beach City moving their defensive players up for more scoring chances. That allowed sophomore Maria Hernandez (Sierra Vista HS) to connect with freshman Mia Ramirez (Torrance HS), who got past the defense and added an insurance goal in extra time. It was her 25th goal of the season, which gets her a little closer to the school's freshman goal record of 32, which was set in 2007 by Corina Villegas.