W. Soccer: Team sweeps divisional awards

File Photo: Brianna Yepez was voted the division's Defensive Player of the Year
File Photo: Brianna Yepez was voted the division's Defensive Player of the Year

After posting shutouts in all of their South Coast Conference South Division games, the Cerritos College women's soccer team swept the post-season awards. The Falcons (18-1-1, 8-0-0), who won their 12th consecutive title, saw freshman Mia Ramirez (Torrance HS) voted the Offensive Player of the Year, with freshman Brianna Yepez (Paramount HS) named the Defensive Player of the Year. It marks the third season in a row that Falcon players have received both of the awards. The young Cerritos team had 10 players receive all-conference recognition, with seven of them freshmen.

Ramirez currently ranks second in the state with 25 goals and 63 points, which both led the conference, while Yepez helped the team record eight clean sheets in divisional play, while their season 0.35 goals against average currently ranks sixth in the state. Also being named 1st Team all-conference were two-time selections Itzel Ballesteros (Maywood Academy HS) and Maria Hernandez (Sierra Vista HS), along with freshmen Stephanie Nava (Shadow Ridge, NV HS) and goalkeeper Deisy Rodriguez (Katella HS). Ballesteros, the division's Offensive Player of the Year last season, is tied for the state lead with 23 assists to go along with her 12 goals, while Hernandez has one goal and six assists from her midfielder position. Nava is currently tied for third on the team with nine goals, with Rodriguez posting a 17-0-1 record on the year so far with an 0.22 goals against average, which ranks third in the state.

Earning 2nd Team honors were freshmen Elizabeth Mendez (Long Beach Millikan HS), Mayela Medina (Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy HS) and Sophie Saouma (Esperanza HS), along with transfer sophomore Jacky Beristain (Foothill HS/South Carolina State University). Both midfielders, Medina has posted six goals and six assists this season, with Mendez accounting for four goals and one assist. The defensive pairing of Saouma and Beristain have been instrumental in the Falcons allowing just seven goals all season and posted 15 shutouts. Cerritos has shut out their last six opponents.

The Falcons, who are the five-time defending CCCAA State Champions, open the Southern California Regional Playoffs as the #4-seeded team and will host #13-seeded San Diego Mesa College at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.