Coach Gonzales wins national award

Jonathan Garza and Jonathan Garza

After leading the Cerritos College women’s soccer team to a 21-2-2 record that resulted in being voted as the National Champions, head coach Ruben Gonzalez has been named the NSCAA National Coach of the Year.

Gonzalez flew to Indianapolis for the ceremony, which took place on Jan. 18.

“It’s a great honor. I couldn’t have done it without my coaching staff and the players that have come through the program at Cerritos College. I owe most of the credit to them. That’s what makes us look good. The coaches put in the hard work, and the players produce on the field,” Gonzalez said.

“Receiving this award is only going to help us,” he continued.

With the soccer season completed, the team has celebrated a little bit, but it is headed right back to work on next season.

“We have spring class that the girls come to. As coaches, we are out there recruiting high school games. We get emails and calls from young ladies that are interested in our program. We go out and evaluate them and we invite them to campus to talk about our program. If they are quality players then hopefully we can convince them to become a part of our program,” Gonzalez said.

Freshman forward/midfielder Claudia Lopez said the work ethic of the women’s soccer team is rigorous.

“He has been a great coach for me this season,” Lopez said.

When asked to rank Gonzalez among all her soccer coaches throughout her career, Lopez’s said “Even though sometimes I dislike him for making us run a lot, Gonzalez and all the coaching staff are amazing at what they do. I’d rank them No. 1.”

Without a doubt, the team has its sights on next season and defending its crown against the likes of the South Coast Conference along with each other competitor.

Best of all, everybody is working hard to make sure that the another championship is not lost.

“We’re excited already. Right after we won the championship we we’re having dinner with the team and the coaching staff, and we were already looking forward to the recruiting for the following year. That’s the only way to do it to be successful,” Gonzalez continued.

“We’ll be out on the field next week.”

Cerritos College suffered upsetting defeats against Long Beach City College and Pasadena City College during the regular season.

That led to a season-ending six-game winning streak that saw Cerritos College outscore its competition 19-3, including a 2-0 victory over Santiago Canyon College in the State Championship.

With help, the championship would evolve into a National Championship when the NSCAA voted in its final poll, raising the Falcons to their second ever national crown.