After a career when Cerritos College women's soccer player Itzel Ballesteros scored 34 career goals and assisted on 38 others, the All-American has signed a National Letter of Intent with Lincoln Memorial (TN) University. Ballesteros, who was named 1st Team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches, accounted for 12 goals and 23 assists as a sophomore. During her career, Ballesteros was also a two-time 2nd Team All-West Region and two-time All-Southern Region selection, while she was voted the South Coast Conference South Division Offensive Player of the Year her freshman year. She tied for the state lead with 23 assists as a sophomore, which is the second most in a season in school history.
"I had to think my options over a few times", said Ballesteros. "Most of my offers were out of state so I ultimately made the decision based off of where I knew I'd be most comfortable living for the next two years. It is a huge change but I really liked the school and team when I went to visit. I know I can provide a different style of play to the program that I acquired here at Cerritos."
Ballesteros will have a familiar face with her at the NCAA Division II school, as Falcon teammate Maria Hernandez has also committed to the school. During her Cerritos career, Hernandez was an All-Southern Region and two-time 1st Team All-South Coast Conference choice. She was limited to just 20 games in 2017 and recorded one goal with six assists after accounting for eight goals and 12 assists from her defender position as a freshman.
"Itzel is just a great kid who will be successful at the next level,' said Falcon head coach Ruben Gonzalez. "Her strengths are that she has great speed and is very unselfish."
"I can genuinely say that my years at Cerritos will be my favorite years that I've played soccer since I started," added Ballesteros. "I feel so lucky and blessed that I was able to experience being a National Champion my first year. I was able to play with very talented players that I became very close to. I can honestly say my coaches were the primary reason I was able to accomplish this. I learned so much from them on and off the field. They always made sure I kept a good head on my shoulders. I have never been part of a program that requires so much discipline and hard work but it all paid off and led to this and I know I will carry it with me to reach my potential at the next level."
Last season, the Railsplitters posted a 7-10 record and finished ninth in the South Atlantic Conference.
February 9, 2019 W. Soccer: Four more players sign with four-year schools
January 18, 2019 W. Soccer: Another Falcon signs with four-year school
December 7, 2018 W. Soccer: Sydney Carr named National Player of the Year
December 4, 2018 W. Soccer: Season ends with Falcons ranked #4 nationally
December 4, 2018 W. Soccer: Jennifer Lopez signs with Delta State University
November 26, 2018 W. Soccer: Cerritos sweeps divisional awards
November 24, 2018 W. Soccer: Penalty kicks ends perfect season
November 21, 2018 W. Soccer: Shutout playoff win advances Falcons
November 17, 2018 W. Soccer: Playoff win sends Falcons to the next round
November 14, 2018 W. Soccer: Sydney Carr signs with Seattle University
November 13, 2018 W. Soccer: Falcons seeded #1 for SoCal Playoffs
November 9, 2018 W. Soccer: Regular season ends with 17th straight shutout
November 6, 2018 W. Soccer: Goal record falls in 12-0 conference win
November 2, 2018 W. Soccer: Early goal sets the tone in 4-0 win
October 30, 2018 W. Soccer: Abbreviated game still results in 11-0 win
October 26, 2018 W. Soccer: Clean scoresheet extends shtuout record
October 23, 2018 W. Soccer: Shutout streak continues in 4-0 win
October 19, 2018 W. Soccer: Goals come in bunches in 10-0 win
October 16, 2018 W. Soccer: Undefeated season remains intact after shutout win
October 12, 2018 W. Soccer: Another shutout recorded by the Falcons
October 9, 2018 W. Soccer: Four-goal game for Carr in Falcons win
October 5, 2018 W. Soccer: Dominant performance by the Falcons
September 30, 2018 W. Soccer: Rare Sunday game nets 3-0 win over Southwestern
September 28, 2018 W. Soccer: Serena Camacho turns in 5-goal effort in win
September 25, 2018 W. Soccer: Dominance by Falcons continues in 7-0 win
September 21, 2018 W. Soccer: Big numbers posted in win over Canyons
September 14, 2018 W. Soccer: Win over Taft improves record to 5-0-0
September 11, 2018 W. Soccer: Top-ranked Falcons put eight on the board
September 7, 2018 W. Soccer: Falcons earn win over defending state champs
September 2, 2018 W. Soccer: Cerritos concludes trip with second 4-0 win
August 31, 2018 W. Soccer: Season opens with 4-0 shutout win