Women’s soccer team dominates in honor of Cornejo

Camaraderie in the Cerritos College women’s soccer team lingers on even through death as the team defeated L.A. Pierce College with a stunning 7-0 shutout in honor of Jasmine Cornejo.

The game was held Tuesday, Sept. 9, on the home field, and was in honor of Cornejo, who died Aug. 4.

Before the match the team invited family members of the late Cornejo to honor her charismatic nature she so deeply drilled into the heart of the team.

Members of Cornejo’s family were given a framed No. 20 jersey as a remembrance of the swift, kind; yet, fierce player.

Rosario Vazquez, her mother, was quickly engulfed by loving relatives and heartfelt players and coaches alike as they honored her daughter’s name.

“I know my daughter isn’t here today,” Vazquez said. “But I just want her to know that, to this day, I am still proud of her and I truly appreciate the support of the ladies and the coaching staff.”

When the kick off whistle blew, the Falcons quickly rushed the opposition, as the team started the kick off to win possession of the ball.

Once the ball was pried off L.A. Pierce, the team quickly looked on to find gaps in the defense and began the offensive campaign on the opposition’s net.

When the first corner was granted to Cerritos, an “olympic goal” was scored as the ball glided in the 18-yard-box for a potential header, but it was not needed as the ball landed behind the keeper and into the net.

The goal came at the fifth minute of the first half from a kick by Jill Messersmith.

The shelling didn’t stop there.

Cerritos shook the nerves off with the first goal and continued to engage the Brahman’s net with shot after shot, each pining and banging against the goal’s woodwork as the crowd groaned after every attempt.

A substitution in the first half put Cornejo’s closest friend, Carolina Ornelas, boots on the ground as she quickly adapted to match tempo and began to make damage of her own.

In the 22nd minute of the first half, the second goal found the upper right-hand-side corner of the net after the rifled shot by Esmeralda Vergudo flew past the keeper.

With the Falcons controlling the game near the end of the first half, the second half welcomed the fans in the second minute with a goal by Ashley Anaya-Webb. The shot came quick and surprised the Brahman’s goalkeeper.

After an intense moment of missed chances, the next goal came from Esmeralda Vergudo, once again increasing the frustration of L.A. Pierce.

That didn’t cause the Falcons to fall under pressure as a fifth goal was handed to Anaya-Webb again, this time calming the opposition down and ultimately gaining full control of the match.

The final two goals came from Ornelas as she struck hard on a header toward the goal and hit it low on the second goal finalizing the game at 7-0.

She dedicated both goals to Cornejo as she embraced her taped wrist in honor of her friend that used to do the same.

Sophomore Nayeli Requejo assisted many of the goals and led the attack on the left wing.

“We won by a lot but there were a lot of opportunities that were missed,” she said. “So that’s something we definitely have to work on.”

Many chances went just far off the target as the team must focus on finishing the chances it creates, according to Requejo.

Goal scorer of the match, Anaya-Webb is new to the Cerritos program.

“Chemistry is developing really well; surprisingly of how quick it was,” she said. “We haven’t had games since last Thursday, but we are finally starting to click.”

The Cerritos athletic department as a whole has had a sudden flash flood of fresh recruits to its teams. However, according to Anaya-Webb, the women’s soccer team is meshing together well.

Head coach Ruben Gonzalez said that the mentality of the team is still the same as last semester when it won the championship.

“We have players that can put the ball in the back of the net,” Gonzalez said. “I think that is why we have been successful in the past as well.”

People attending the game could donate to Jasmine Cornejo’s family at the entrance of the field.

According to cerritosfalcons.com, the family was able to raise $610; the team also lifted the spirits of Rosario Vazquez with the shutout in honor of Cornejo.