Women’s soccer wins second straight title

Rick Gomez

Forward Elba Menjivar’s goal in the 68th minute brought life back into the struggling Cerritos College women’s soccer team against Santa Clara  after trailing 2-1 Sunday afternoon.

But, it was midfielder Corina Villegas’ two goals in overtime to complete a hat trick and lead the Falcons to a 4-2 victory and a back-to-back state championship title.

“[Corina] is amazing. She put this team on her shoulders,” said head coach Ruben Gonzalez.

The Falcons played without leading scorer Moniue Cisneros forcing Gonzalez to adjust the lineup and move Villegas to forward.

The Falcons strook first with an early lead when Villegas scored in the 9th minute.

Forward Niki Poole of the Bear Cubs answered back in the 19th minute ending the first half in a 1-1 tie.

“The first goal was a matter of lack of communication,” defender Tara Corcoran said.  “I think for a second we put our heads down.”

In the first half, Falcons looked confused and out of rhythm, something they were not used to.

Prior to the state final, the Falcons have kept teams scorless in the last six games.

“They played three forwards.  We had to adjust at halftime,” Gonzalez said.

In the 2nd half, problems continued whe Santa Rosa scored and took the lead in the 55th minute.

It was the first time Falcons trailed since playing Mt. San Antonio back on October 17.

Menjivar scored in the 68th minute off a throw-in pass from forward Desiree Cardenas sending the game into overtime.

After scoring the first goal, Bear Cubs began double teaming Villegas effectively, limiting touches and opportunities for Villegas and the Falcons.

“It was frustrating,” Villegas said.  “I had to keep it up.”

In overtime, Villegas capitalized on two counter attacks scoring both in the first period of overtime.

“I knew the whole team was depending on me,” Villegas said.

The two goals from Villegas were enough to secure a victory over the Bear cubs.

Villegas was named state tournament MVP scoring four goals in the tournament.

The Falcons won their second straight state title and finished undefeated with 22 wins and four ties.