Men’s soccer team rises to No. 1 in nation

Benjamin Garcia

With a score of 2-1 at the South Coast Conference (South Division), the Falcons remained unbeatable in the regular soccer season with the game against Long Beach City College Vikings.

According to Benny Artiaga, head coach of the Falcons, this is the first time that the men’s soccer team has gone undefeated in school history.

Now, the Falcons hold the No. 1 place in the nation by the United Soccer Coaches among Division III schools, and No. 1 in California.

He explained that the team had “a lot riding” on this game and that the team “came out pressing and doing a little too much.”

The game, which took place on Sept. 11 and at home, started with the Vikings’ Steven Espinoza scoring the first goal 11 minutes into the game. No. 18 Oscar Canela got the Falcons’ first goal seven minutes later.

“Once we settled them down,” Artiaga continued, “We were able to do what we did.”

Team captain Luis Garcia said, “Every game is different. We started a little slow. We managed to pick it up [in the] second half” — former trustee Bob Arthur would later comment on how the team “dominated,” being that it managed to score one more goal while keeping the Vikings down.

Garcia said (and the head coach agreed) that staying composed and “being smart” were shown to be two of the Falcons’ strong points, explaining that “whether it was going in soft or going in hard — we [..] knew what we had to do get the [desired] result.”

This “composure” lead to the Falcons keeping the ball for most of the second half — allowing midfielder Adrian Becerra (No. 8) to make an assist — passing the ball to Canela to post his “second two-goal game in the last three matches,” according to cerritosfalcons.com, in the last three minutes of the game.

There was an incident on the field, where the two teams could have had a potential scuffle but some Samaritans broke it up before anything damning for either team could happen.

Neither the team captain or head coach remember exactly what happened, though both said that it “is just part of the game.” This didn’t happen at the previous game.

Cerritos will be seeded #1 and receive a bye in the first round of seeding for the Southern California Regional playoffs and will face the winner of the eight and ninth seed on Sat., Nov. 18.