Men’s soccer faces rival Mt. SAC


Sophomore goal keeper Benito Gonzalez perfects the art of the diving save at goalie practice.Photo credit: Sebastian Echeverry.

The stakes have never been higher for the Cerritos College men’s soccer team as it must confront bitter rival Mt. San Antonio College in order to reach the goal of winning the South Coast Conference Championship.

Sophomore midfielder Gerardo Macias believes the team is doing very well and has a very good mind set at the moment.

“We had a tough preseason, so we feel that we are ready for the playoffs, ” Macias said.

It’s no surprise that facing off against such teams like Long Beach City College and Golden West College have hardened the men’s squad and has prepared the new comers to live up to the veterans’ expectations.

“We are just staying focused, ” Macias said. “Making sure we’re all on the same page both physically and mentally.”

The men’s soccer program has focused on honing in the talent each individual brings to the playing field and finds ways to gather all the skills needed to win as a team.

He personally has been preparing for the upcoming games by getting to practice early, leaving a couple minutes late, taking care of his body and getting his mind to focus on the match.

For the first three games of the playoffs, the matches are played on a knock out basis. Then the surviving four teams slug it out in the semi-finals in order to win a ticket to the final.

Freshman forward Cristian Zuniga admits that the season leading up to the playoffs has been a rough ride, but he has not lost faith in his team as they have taken the second place in the rankings.

“We are working pretty hard at practice,” Zuniga said. “We are ready for the challenge.”

The team is prepared to lay it all on the field and win against Mt. SAC.

In the past, the Falcons have been haunted by many injuries in their ranks. Leaving spots were the veterans stood open to the new players. Zuniga believes the team has more than enough skilled palyers.

“We can make it with the guys we have so far,” he said. “Everybody puts in work, everybody works hard. The whole team is pretty much at the same level.”

Although the big prize is to play in the Southern California Regional Playoffs, head coach Benny Artiaga does not want to get ahead of himself and is focusing on the task at hand.

“We’re not even thinking about that right now (the playoffs),” Artiaga said. “The only thing on our minds right now is Mt. SAC and winning the conference.”

Mt. SAC is currently one point ahead of the Falcons. Coach Artiaga and his men have to beat the Mounties if they want to win conference.

“They left a really foul taste in our mouths last time,” he said. “So I know that our guys are going to be up to the challenge.”

The match will be displayed in the Falcons soccer field Friday Nov. 15, at 3 p.m.