VENTURA - For the fourth time in the program history and the first time since 2014, the Cerritos College Falcons have been crowned the 2018 California Community College Athletic Association men's soccer state champions after defeating the Golden West College Rustlers by the final score of 2-1.
Cerritos caps an incredible 22-win season by hauling in the state championship hardware. The Falcons complete their season on a 14-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 44-10 during that stretch.
The Rustlers came out of the gates swinging and gave the Falcons a run for their money. In the 20th minute, Golden West grabbed an early lead after Kevin Everastico punched in a score from 62-yards out on a free kick. His free kick lofted high into the goal keeper's box and took one huge bounce that just snuck by Cerritos' outstretched goalkeeper for the score.
The Rustlers carried their one-score advantage into the second half. However, with a relentless offensive press from the Falcons, the game's momentum quickly shifted in Cerritos' favor.
In the 72nd minute, the Falcons finally capitalized on an opportunity with the Rustlers playing a man down due to a red card. Kevin Diaz located Alberto Carrillo in the box on a crafty combination and Carrillo promptly netted the one-timer to tie the contest up an at one score apiece.
The Rustlers shot themselves in the foot later in the second half by earning themselves another red card, thus putting Cerritos into an even more vicious attack mode.
In the 89th minute, Kevin Diaz drew a foul in the box to earn Cerritos a penalty kick. Erick Gallinar followed by burying the opportunity with ease thus capping the victory and the state championship.
Cerritos' goalkeeper Jordan Aldama was named the State Championship's Most Valuable Player. He made 22 saves throughout the entire playoffs leading to five wins. Throughout his two-year career, Aldama recorded a 39-1-4 overall record.
Golden West falls short of its first state title since 1977. The Rustlers finished the season with an overall record of 14-6-5.
(Nicho Della Valle, Riverside City College)