Men’s soccer head to Final 4

Erik Estrada

Cerritos College wins 3-2 in sudden death penalty shootouts against Golden West to advance to CCCAA State Final Four at American River College in Sacramento.

During their regular season game the Falcons 0-0 against Golden West leaving anticipation on who was going to be the dominant team in this match up.

The teams wanted to make sure their presence was shown as 11 yellow cards were handed out throughout the entire game.

For Cerritos, they will lose their leading scorer Luis Garcia due to a double booking one in the second half and the other in the first overtime.

Coach Benny Artiaga believes the key point was the red card “because that automatically changed everything we went from being in complete control to…now we kind of had to sit in and hold it off.”

Artiaga also said, “We really did think we could take this team in regular time we never thought that they had a chance, never thought that they could beat us on the soccer field […] with the red card we kind of had to sit in a little bit.”

The full time and overtime result were 0-0 both teams having opportunities to score during the 90 minutes but unable to net the ball.

Christian Perez had the first opportunity to open the scoreboard when shooting a free kick that hit the lower right post.

Golden West responded with a center by Noel Gonzalez, but the forward missed the chance for goal.

The first half ended with minimum chances on goal for both teams leaving the second half open for both teams to look for the win.

Golden West was looking for long balls as a counter attack option when Cerritos would fail their attempt to push forward on an offensive attack. They also scored a goal but was called for offsides keeping the score 0-0.

Ronaldo Escudero had a shot on goal for Golden West on a free kick opportunity, but the shot went off the post.

For the Falcons Jose Ponce took a strike on a lost ball from outside the 18 which ended being deflected by Golden West keeper Luis Sosa.

During overtime, the game was disputed a lot in the midfield both teams looking tired but Cerritos still keeping their offensive tendencies while Golden West maintained a compact defense looking to head to penalties.

In penalties, both of the teams converted their first attempts leading to Cerritos go up 2-1 in penalties in the effort to clinch the game for a Falcons victory Andrew Perez had his shot blocked by Sosa.

Golden West scored on their opportunity tied the score 2-2 once again Cerritos had the chance to win the game, but Carlos Payeras shot went wide and missed the net.

With the missed shot the penalty shootout moved onto sudden death Christopher Leal stepped up for Golden West, but his shot hit the crossbar leaving the opportunity for Oscar Canela to put the game away.

Canela stepped up to the spot, took his shot, and had it denied by Sosa who prolonged the shootout. Alex Maldonado-Pinon was next to shoot for Golden West trying to win the game but was rejected by Jordan Aldama.

Aldama said his mentality to block the penalty was to “just trying to stay calm and take one shot at a time and try to help my team as much as I can.”

Aldama also said he does have a method to blocking penalties but wishes to keep not to give it away and save it for himself.

Jose Ponce was the next player to shoot for the Falcons and scored leading to Cerritos’ victory and their advancement to CCCAA State Final Four.

After scoring the winning penalty kick, Ponce said, “it feels really good you know the team has worked the summer season.

“And we just feel that we have a chance now an opportunity to make it to the finals.”