In the 14 seasons that Ruben Gonzalez has been the head coach of the Cerritos College women's soccer team, one thing has been consistent. His teams play with speed. Over the 20 regular season games in 2018, the Falcons went on to win every one (a first in school history), while they have outscored their opponents 124-1 during that span.
Accounting for 44 of those goals has been sophomore forward Sydney Carr (El Modena HS), who transferred to Cerritos after playing her freshman year at UC Irvine. Prior to the start of the postseason, Carr has signed a National Letter of Intent to play her next two seasons at Seattle University, a Division I program that plays in the Western Athletic Conference.
"Sydney has had such an enormous impact on the team with her pace and scoring ability," said Gonzalez. "Those skills make everyone on our team that much better. She has just as a different gear that is very hard to defend."
That gear is full speed, which has caused defenders problems all season long. On the year, Carr has only been held without a goal once and had a span of six games where she scored multiple goals. She has scored four goals in a game five times, including three times in the last seven games. She accounted for 21 goals in the month of October.
While at UC Irvine, she shared her team's goal scoring lead... with four goals. Joining her with the Falcons this season after playing with the Anteaters has been Serena Camacho, whose game has also thrived in the up-tempo style that Cerritos plays with. The duo have combined for 75 and 43 assists this season. Carr (pictured, left) is also on pace to become the first 50-goal scorer in CCCAA history.
"I didn't come into these games thinking it was going to be easy," said Carr. "I worked hard just like I would at a D1. At the beginning of the season all my coaches would talk to me about the season record and I told myself, and them, from that day on that that was my goal. The day I beat the record against El Camino, the amount of excitement was through the roof, as you could tell from my celebration. It was such a good feeling knowing that I had achieved my goal and knowing I didn't let my coaches down."
Along with being a dangerous goal-scoring threat, Carr is also a fine passer and is currently fourth in the state with 20 assists. Her 108 points on the season are also a school record. Recording a pair of 11-point games this season, Carr assisted on three goals against both Pasadena City College and Compton College. She also scored the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over defending CCCAA State Champion Fresno City College in the 70th minute earlier in the season.
"My game has change dramatically obviously coming from a D1 program to a junior college," added Carr. "I was expected to succeed very high and I think I pushed myself above the limit and worked extremely hard."
The Falcons have faced six teams this season that qualified for the post-season and Carr collected 12 goals and four assists in those contests. They team also played two of the best teams in Washington state to start the year, and Carr recorded a goal and three assists.
Origionally from Portland, OR, Carr made the decision to choose a school that was closer to her family, a decision that came very easily.
"Before I went UCI, I told myself I'd never leave California and that I'd stay close to the people I've gotten close to during the 12 years I've been here in California," continued Carr. "But now that I'm a little older, I'm ready to venture out and try new things and that's exactly why I chose Seattle University. This second time around, trying to find a school, I took it very seriously and looked into a lot. I considered many schools, but when I went and took the visit, not only did I fall in love with the scenery of Seattle, but the coaches, the school, and the girls. I'm from Oregon and that's pretty close to Seattle, so being close to home and being closer to family makes me extremely happy."
This past season, the Redhawks went 10-8-3, captured the conference championships and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Their season came to a conclusion with a 3-0 loss at the hands of #1-seeded Stanford University.
As fast as Carr is on the field, she's in no hurry for this season to come to an end. Starting on Saturday, the #1-seeded Falcons will be opening Southern California Regional Playoff action, and are five wins away from a state - and national - championship.