Men’s soccer state champions, Johnson crucial in win

Luis Guzman, Managing Multimedia Editor

Defender Christian Hernandez maneuvers away from Mt. SAC midfielder Juan Ortega in the CCCAA State Championship game.
Abraham Venegas
Defender Christian Hernandez maneuvers away from Mt. SAC midfielder Juan Ortega in the CCCAA State Championship game.

Men’s soccer became the 2014 State Champions in a 3-1 victory over Mt. San Antonio College, with Forward Connor Johnson scoring all three goals in the victory.

The excitement for head coach Benny Artiaga was palpable after winning the team’s third state championship in the programs history.

“Absolutely delighted, our guys worked hard all year they were well prepared, they earned it,” Artiaga said.

MVP for the 2014 State Championships was Johnson who helped bring the title home on Dec. 7 against Mt. SAC.

He said that his MVP award was for his team and the effort that they put in the field.

“It wasn’t anything solo, it definitely belongs to the team and I’m really happy and blessed to have this win,” Johnson said.

The Falcons offense had 11 shots in the first half, but that soon changed after the Mounties scored a goal.

The Falcons scored early with a goal by Johnson in the 39th minute in the first half to put them up against the Mounties.

“We knew their weaknesses, we played them enough times,” Johnson said, “we are a lot different from the first and second time we met, we made our adjustments and it showed on the field.”

Johnson scored again for the Falcons in the 37th minute, but the Mounties would answer back with a goal from the Mounties Forward Jose Dheming.

Following the goal by Dheming, the Mounties went on to have 11 shots and six corner kicks to end the half.

However, that wasn’t enough as Johnson scored late in the game to solidify the win against the Mounties.

Ivan Del Campo, goalkeeper for the Falcons, said that his team played with great sacrifice this year.

“I felt like all the sacrifice we did throughout the season that we never gave up, and we played with heart,” Del Campo said.

He went on to thank the fans and the families in attendance that stuck around for the good times and the bad.

Artiaga said that his team would now wait to be called to play the national title.

For Artiaga, the future for the team will be the same year end and year out.

“The future is the same that its always been, we set our goals and we put our aspirations, this is why you come to Cerritos college to win a title,” Artiaga said.

He said that anything else is either the team fails or they go down trying.

Edzon Cuevas tallied up two assists in the game; Michael Bautista had one assist.

“This feeling is unbelievable,” Cuevas said. “I came here with one goal and one goal only, to become state champion.

He mentioned that winning was the goal not only for himself but also for his team.

“I’m doing it for me and my (teammates), this is my family. I’m proud of everybody, everybody put a lot of work out here.”

Cuevas said that the win wasn’t possible if it wasn’t for the effort of the team and the coaching staff.

The team will celebrate their win but will also get ready to win another championship next year.

“We’ll celebrate it right now and regroup for next year and get ready again that’s our mentality all the time,” Johnson said.