Scoring, assists records broken in ELAC loss

Monica Gallardo, Sports Copy Editor

Cerritos forward and midfielder Nayeli Requejo shot the ball past the East Los Angeles College goalkeeper last Friday, being awarded a penalty kick in the first half against the team that gave the Falcons their sole loss (East Los Angeles College).

Forward Ashley Anaya-Webb went on to score two goals, helping the Falcons shut-out ELAC 7-0, and increased her goals scored to 28, the most in California.

“It’s really nice to see that. I’ve put a lot of effort and time into it and so has my team, and it’s nice having coaches that notice, as well,” Anaya-Webb said of her state-leading accomplishment.

Those goals came with the help of her teammate, Requejo, whose 21st assist last Tuesday broke Nancy Gandarilla’s Cerritos College record for most assists in a single season set in 2009. She now has 22.

“I was never a player to pay attention to stats, it didn’t really phase me. But now I’m proud of myself, but I still expect more. I still want to work hard,” Requejo said.

Defender Alex Kidd said, “[Requejo] is our captain and we’re good friends and we discuss strategies. [Anaya-Webb] and I are good friends. We played club before college so we [already] knew (one another).”

Requejo started playing soccer at the age of 6, while Anaya-Webb began at the age of 4. Both women cite their family as their biggest supporters, as well as Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo as a player to look up to.

“I think his touch-up ball is fantastic,” Anaya-Webb said.

The years of practice have accumulated to several accolades between the two, including Anaya-Webb being named the Empire League Offensive Most Valuable Player her junior and senior year at Yorba Linda High School, and Requejo’sjersey being retired after her senior year at Bishop Amat High School.

After graduating high school, Anaya-Webb attended and played at Cal State Long Beach, but decided that it was not the best place for her.

“I needed somewhere to go and I wasn’t really sure if I was going to play soccer anymore at that point, so I came here and had [head coach] Ruben [Gonzalez] help me get classes and help me go through the steps to transfer.”
Requejo also credits Gonzalez as a factor in choosing Cerritos College.

“I got into (different) Cal States, but I really didn’t have a plan where I would end up and Ruben kept asking me if I wanted to go to Cerritos, and it sounded like the best option, so I came.”

Regarding her future plans, Requejo said, “I want to transfer to a college that pays for my school and I can play soccer so it’s all worth it. Or, if I can’t get a scholarship and help my parents out, then what was all this for? But my far reaching dream would be to go to Europe and try to play professionally.”

Anaya-Webb hopes to transfer and play at a Division 1 school.

“I want soccer to take me as far as it can, and after that, I want to become a police officer,” she said.

Even with numerous accomplishments, sometimes nerves are inevitable.

To shake off those occasional nerves, Requejo said, “I just tell myself ‘you can do this’ and I overtake it with concentration and determination.”

As for Anaya-Webb, “Before every game I usually pray, and after about 10 minutes, I’ll probably settle and then I’ll start focusing on the little things, like my touch, my passing and everything falls into place, I believe.”

Those nerves show little impact on the duo, as they have helped the Falcons top the South Coast Conference with a 7-1 record, and 13-1 overall.

Both players put a lot of trust in one another and share a competitive mentality.

Requejo said, “We just mesh well. I’m not afraid to pass the ball to her, even if I give her a bad pass, I know she’s going to do well.”

Anaya-Webb said, “She likes to dribble and I like to pass, so it works out really well for both of us.”

“They’re both really hard workers and Ashley has really good shots and Nayeli’s really good at dribbling on the sides, so they both work together really well. The team is really proud of them,” Kidd said.

Off the field, Requejo is a communications major who enjoys hanging out with friends, listening to artists such as Drake and Prince Royce and eating carne asada tacos.

Anaya-Webb, a criminal justice major, also spends her free time with friends, sometimes by attending their soccer games, and enjoys eating sushi. But, “I focus mostly on soccer,” she said.

“Everything revolves around soccer,” Requejo added.