Falcons eliminate Santa Monica after 2-1 victory

Erik Estrada

Cerritos College achieved a 2-1 victory over Santa Monica College in the Southern California Regional 2nd Round game. The Falcons will now move on to one of two Southern California Regional final games.

The first time these two teams met up was in a scrimmage match before the season started with the Falcons winning 5-0.

Number one seed Cerritos College played an intense game against Santa Monica College as the game was close to going into overtime if it were not for Christian Perez’ No. 83 tie-breaking goal.

Coach Benny Artiaga described the game as “not as easy as it could have been” because of the opportunities the Falcons missed.

Artiaga continued by saying, “We had clear scoring opportunities. And you know when you don’t finish early. Like the longer you leave teams in, the longer you allow a team to stay in you know that frustration can build up.”

The first offensive opportunity came from Cerritos when Perez passed the ball to Kevin Martinez who let out a shot to goal but the ball bounced off the crossbar and fell onto Luis Garcia’s feet who also took a shot, but Santa Monica’s goalkeeper deflected the ball to a corner.

Santa Monica did not hold back and had an opportunity at opening up the scoreboard when their offense let out a shot but Jordan Aldama saved the Falcons, and the score continued 0-0.

Martinez showed up again for the Falcons when deciding to cut on the inside after making a run on the right shoulder and took a shot but was unsuccessful at his attempt at goal.

After the first half break, the Falcons quickly had their first opportunity when Garcia teamed up with Perez allowing Perez to take a shot but the keeper had no trouble with the ball.

Garcia was able to break away from his defenders and give a grounded cross to Oscar Canela leaving him in front of goal, but Canela’s shot went above goal.

The scoreboard opened up after Guy Carven received the ball in midfield and opened it up to Marc Calderon on the right who sent a grounded cross inside the box and in his attempt to clear the ball Santa Monica’s Ruben Soria deflected the ball into his own goal.

Santa Monica came back after a free kick was called in their favor. Danny Hernandez covered the free kick and found open Cyrille Njomo who headed the ball into the net.

With the tie, Santa Monica looked to defend it and gave priority to the defense by looking at a chance to score on the counter-attack.

With time running down, Cerritos kept pressuring on top by having control of the ball.

With possession of the ball, Garcia and Adrian Becerra completed a 1-2 combination letting Becerra go inside the box and assisting Perez who put the ball behind the net game for the game-winner.

Being able to score the winning goal Perez said, “it feels good to be able to put my team in the lead and move on to the next round.”

Becerra believed the team could work more on their finishing because the Falcons had 12 shots on goal but he also said the system was working great.

Becerra also said, “Moving around from defense to forward, everything was going smooth, we just need to put the ball in.”

Perez said, “There’s a target on our back for being number one in the state- that doesn’t matter we are just ready to play and move on.”