Cerritos and Mt. SAC are huge rivals dating back to last season’s state final in which Cerritos came out victorious.
A few weeks ago, it faced off for the first time this year and lost, 2-1.
This time around, Cerritos was focused, angry, and motivated to beat Mt. SAC in a huge statement game in Conference play.
Mt. SAC is ranked No. 1 in non-scholarship community colleges in the country, a rank the Falcons had before their first meeting this season, and Cerritos was determined to attain that No. 1 ranking again.
The men’s soccer team took on rival Mt. SAC this past Wednesday and tied, 2-2, in conference play.
Though many feel Cerritos was robbed, anyone watching the game could tell where the calls were going, as Mt. SAC received nearly 10 minutes of stoppage time in the 90th minute, and scored.
Shortly after the tying goal the whistle was blown, ending the game in a tie in a match where Cerritos clearly dominated.
“We came out and beat Mt. SAC in every facet of the game except refereeing. It was absolute highway robbery.”
Cerritos struck first in the match, eight minutes into the half, Luis Gonzalez scored off a rebound from a teammates shot. Gonzalez had a goal and an assist to lead the Falcons. In the 27th minute, Paul Montalvo scored the second goal giving Cerritos a 2-0 lead.
Cerritos held on to the 2-0 lead into the 84th minute where the controversy all started.
Aaron Salazar of Mt. SAC appeared to be offsides, but the sideline referee didn’t call the offsides, he beat Danny Lizama for Mt. SAC’s first goal.
“He was off by three yards,” said Artiaga.
The Cerritos defenders froze, waiting for the flag, and were outraged when nothing was called, Salazar went into the goal took the ball out and placed it at midfield for Cerritos to continue playing.
Eight minutes into stoppage time, Spencer Jones of Mt. SAC chipped the ball over the defenders and into the top right hand corner of the goal, tying the game.
The whistle was blown about a minute later. Mt. SAC erupted in cheers and celebration, Cerritos didn’t feel the same way.
May Cerritos players came up to the referee at midfield screaming, Artiaga sent them away to give the referee a piece of his mind, telling him that he would send the tape to the SCC officials and get him fired.
“I have never, ever seen anything like this in my entire life. It’s a damn shame that college soccer would ever come to this. It was by far the worst refereeing I’ve ever seen in college athletics,” Artiaga said.
“We played absolutely the best match we’ve ever played here in the history of our program,” said Artiaga. “We executed everything perfectly. Our offense, defense, goalkeeping, absolutely phenomenal. I’m so proud of this group.”
Cerritos after the draw is 6-1-1 in conference, while Mt. SAC improved to 7-0-1.