In one of the toughest ways to end a season, the Cerritos College women's soccer team saw their perfect year abruptly halted when they were eliminated from the Southern California Regional Playoffs on penalty kicks Saturday afternoon. Entering the 3rd Round of the playoffs as the #1-seeded team, the Falcons (22-0-1) played #5-seeded San Bernardino Valley College (19-1-4) to a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of action. The match moved to penalty kicks, where the Wolverines prevailed, 5-4. It marked the second season in a row that Cerritos had their season end in the 3rd Round of the postseason. Two seasons ago, the Falcons defeated San Bernardino Valley, 4-1 on penalty kicks in the 3rd Round after playing to a 1-1 draw in regulation.
"It's tough to win games when you don't score," said Falcons head coach Ruben Gonzalez. "We had plenty of chances, but didn't put them away. San Bernardino is a very good team, so you can't take anything away from them."
After the two teams played to a 1-1 tie, they readied themselves for penalty kicks. Both teams converted their first two until freshman Valeria Corrilo (Dominguez HS) missed the net on the right side. In the fourth round, sophomore goalkeeper Deisy Rodriguez (Katella HS), who got her glove on the two previous shots, but couldn't make the save, turned away Stephanie Doran. The teams were tied at 4-4 after the five rounds, which made each round afterward sudden death. Sophomore Jennifer Lopez (Marshall Fundamental HS) saw her shot hit the left post, and when Nayeli Sandoval scored, it meant the end of the season for the Falcons.
With the state's leading scorer, Sydney Carr (El Modena HS/UC Irvine) not playing at 100% due to an injury, she entered the game in the 18th minute and didn't leave until the final whistle. She had several good scoring chances, but just couldn't put them away, including one in overtime, where her left-footed shot toward an open corner of the net went wide. Carr concluded the season with a school record 47 goals.
San Bernardino Valley scored the first goal against the Falcons since the third game of the season when Jacqueline Garcia was able to grab a rebound off a shot by Marcela Gallo that was sitting in front of the net and scored into the open goal in the 42nd minute. It would be the only goal allowed by Rodriguez all season. The lead would last barely three minutes when Corrilo was tackled in the 18-yard box by Shantee Martin, which resulted in a penalty kick. Sophomore Mayela Medina (Harbor Teacher Prep Academy HS) stepped up and tied the game, giving Cerritos hope.
Right after Carr missed her scoring chance, the Falcons had another shot, but freshman Maria Campos (Paramount HS) hit the crossbar on a header. Earlier in the match, Lopez laced a couple of free kicks that went just over the crossbar.
On the day, Cerritos outshot the Wolverines, 26-7, with 14 of those shots on net.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
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