Women’s soccer headed back to the state title game

Terrel Emerson

One would think the Cerritos College women’s soccer team will face the most pressure of the season in the one game winner-take-all state championship game.

And one would be wrong.

Well, that’s according to sophomore midfielder Carolina Jaramilo following the team’s 3-2 win over Folsom Lake Friday, Dec. 2.

“There is a little pressure, obviously Cerritos College has been here before. So the pressure was this game, just getting to the finals and we were able to get there,” Jaramillo said via a translator.

The Falcons are heading to the state championship searching for their fifth consecutive win.

But head coach Ruben Gonzalez feels the team will have to play much better than the matchup against Folsom Lake.

“We didn’t play well. Now, you win and you advance; that’s the motto now. We made this game a lot more difficult than it had to be,” he said.

Sophomore forward Natalie de Leon shares the same sentiment as her head coach.

“We had some chances but I don’t think we played nearly as well as we could’ve. We just have to get in a good practice Saturday, Dec. 3 and get ready for [Sunday],” de Leon said.

The reason for the frustration on the part of Gonzalez was he felt his team didn’t put Folsom Lake away sooner.

The game started off just right for Cerritos as Jaramillo got the team on the board early, scoring two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game.

“I think those two goals early was really important because if we didn’t get on them early it would’ve gotten more complicated for us [late],” Jaramillo said.

Gonzalez felt Jaramillo has played a huge role for this team, but it’s the team as a whole getting the job done.

“I think it’s just the confidence she has in her ability to play and her teammates just finding her in the right places,” he said. “She’s one of 11 players out there and they know how to her.”

Much like her coach, de Leon thought Jaramillo was a pleasure to watch on the field.

“She kept looking for options for everyone and she took her chances when she could. She impacts the game a lot,” de Leon said.

But in a complete turn of events, in the second half Cerritos couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.

In the ’73 minute sophomore Allie Miller scored Folsom Lake’s first goal of the game, trimming the lead to 2-1.

Just six minutes later, de Leon gave Cerritos a much-needed insurance goal.

Gonzalez said, “That was huge, [Folsom Lake] scored that goal and now [the team] is excited and [it] thinks [it] can come back.”

After the win, de Leon shared what she saw on that game-saving play.

“Yaquain [Garcia] always sends in balls like that, [so] I knew if I just stayed on the side [I would get the ball]. I looked at her, she set the ball and I knew I was by myself; so I had to stay composed and finish it,” de Leon said.

The goal proved to be a necessity as Folsom Lake’s Karin Torres scored another goal in stoppage time.

Gonzalez claimed the late Folsom Lake goals were scored on defensive breakdowns from his team.

Jaramillo admitted a little fatigue may have set in on the team.

“Fatigue did play a factor late into the game. We got tired, it played a factor in the momentum change,” Jaramillo said.

Gonzalez felt it could’ve had something to do with three of his players having the stomach flu. In fact, the same three players weren’t at the team’s banquet the previous night.

Following the win, Diablo Valley blanked Santa Barbara to become the second half of the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 4.

It will be Diablo Valley’s first state championship game in school history.