Women’s soccer five year championship streak snapped

Jah-Tosh Baruti

Falcons women’s soccer club was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday Nov. 25, by number one seeded Santa Barbara City College. The final score was 0-1.

The loss broke the women’s soccer team’s streak of five consecutive CCCAA State Championships.

It also marked their first post-season loss since 2011.

No. 9 Itzel Ballesteros, sophomore — forward, said, “Knowing that the streak was over really affected me.

“So many teams before us have worked just as hard as us to keep it going and the fact that we couldn’t continue the legacy devastated us.”

Head Coach Ruben Gonzalez, also shared his thoughts on the loss, “[I’m] disappointed for the girls that did not experience winning a championship. I am blessed to have been able to win seven total championships.”

The number four ranked Falcons faced a tough challenge going on the road for a five-hour trip to Santa Barbara. It was their first game on the road of the 2017 playoffs.

Ballesteros, who described her performance as “consistent” said, “We had a few chances to score and we didn’t make the right decisions.

“I think some players were nervous and that prevented them from finishing.”

Cerritos finished with a total of eight shots, as Santa Barbara shot four more times for a total of 12 shots.

Gonzalez says the loss was a result of a combination of his team not playing well offensively, defensively and a lack of energy.

“I think this team did not have the hunger and was complacent,” Gonzalez said when comparing this team to the past five champions.

The game was intense as both teams were yellow-carded early in the first half, along with two Falcons players also receiving individual yellow cards later in the match.

One yellow card was given at the very last minute (89-minute mark), to No. 13 Stephanie Nava.

His team fought towards the end realizing their season and consecutive championship streak might be over, they almost scored a game tying goal in the second half.

However, Gonzalez stated, the team effort was “not good enough.”

He ultimately summed up the season as “difficult and unsuccessful.”

Looking towards the future, he said, “We will continue to work very hard so that next year we will be competing for another championship.”

If the team wants to win it all next year and get back on top, Gonzalez said,”We have to be hungry and bring energy to every game.”

He thanked his team after the heartbreaking loss and also shared this message to them, “For the freshmen — we have to be better next year and — work hard in the off season on and off the field.

“For the sophomores — stay the course so that [you] can graduate and move on to four year schools.”

Ballesteros, one of the sophomores he delivered the message to, said her favorite moment of the season was, “when we got the goal in OT to tie the game in the first playoff game. I’ve never felt that type of excitement.”

She then reflected on her career at Cerritos College competing in soccer, “I just want to thank the Cerritos Women’s soccer coaching staff for always putting in extra time to make us better individually and as a team.

“Playing here has been my best soccer experience yet,” she finished.