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By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter
The future of the Cerritos High and Gahr High girls soccer programs were on display this past Tuesday night when the two teams met at Hanford Rants Stadium. With only four seniors on Gahr’s roster and one for Cerritos, it was a junior who provided the only important number that mattered.
With five minutes remaining in the contest, junior midfielder Lauryn Bautista took a pass from sophomore midfielder Kavitha George and booted a shot past Gahr junior goalie Destiny Corletto which enabled the Lady Dons to secure a 1-0 victory. Cerritos, which improved to 3-1-2, outshot the hosts 13-2
“It’s good that the team structured itself well and they stayed patient,” said Cerritos first year head coach Rob Adams. “It’s easy for us to get impatient when we’re missing chances like that. The most appealing part of the game for us was that the defense stayed stable and didn’t give up silly chances out of frustration of trying to get a goal and breaking out of our system.”
Cerritos was fielding a team of six juniors, seven sophomores and five freshmen while Gahr has nine juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen. In the 24th minute, junior forward Jessica Chen saw her first shot on go sail off to the right. The best chance for Gahr to score came two minutes later when freshman forward Karina Aguilar’s shot was sent a few feet above the crossbar. Chen would then have two more golden opportunities to break the ice within the final eight minutes of the first half. The second of those chances came when her shot on a free kick barely went above the crossbar.
Chen wasn’t done with her attack on Corletto. Eight minutes into the second half, another free kick shot was saved and two minutes before Bautista scored, Chen took yet another free kick that was simply too high.
“She’s slippery fast,” Adams said. “She gets some separation; she can get separation speed and a little bit of quickness. She doesn’t run with speed all the time. As she develops into the forward position, because she’s a natural offensive midfielder, she’ll even be more productive.”
Then there was freshman forward Erika Rizal, who came within inches of sneaking in a goal at the left post with an open net after Corletto came out to make a block on an initial shot.
While Gahr hosted Whitney High on Dec. 17 and will face Whittier High in the first of two games in the Bellflower Tournament on Saturday, Adams is getting a second wind of coaching soccer at Cerritos. He becomes the school’s seventh head coach since 2002 but was the boys head coach from the 1990s to 2008. The Lady Dons hosted Firebaugh High on Dec. 17 and will also wrap up the Bellflower Tournament on Saturday.
“Coach [Brittany] Barr does a great job with the girls and coach [Jessica] Sunio does as well with the program,” Adams said. “The support in the program is tremendous. The girls have been fantastic. It’s been a really smooth return back.”
Close to 20 Cerritos Aquatic Club swimmers competed in the Junior Olympic Swimming Championships at East LA College last weekend with several winning medals
The 9-10 girls relay team of Jasmine Koo, Sydney Romero, Camila Oliveira, and Madison Mercado won the 200 Freestyle Relay and placed second in the 200 Medley Relay. Oliveira and Jessica Tarazon finished first and second in the 50 yard butterfly and all the girls won multiple medals, as well as 14 year-old Amber Li, who picked up a medal in both the 100 and 200 yard breastroke.
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