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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW Cerritos girls soccer gets late goal to nip Gahr following rare high-scoring blowout win

Cerritos High freshman midfielder Makayla Quesada attempts to score as Norwalk High senior goalkeeper Angelina Serrano tries to make a stop in last Thursday night’s contest. Quesada scored in the 78th minute, the last of the 15 goals Cerritos had against the Lancers. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer

December 10, 2021

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter

Five days after the Cerritos High girls soccer team embarrassed Norwalk High 15-0 on their turf, the Dons faced city rival Gahr High at Fedde Middle School in Hawaiian Gardens and the results were much to the liking of head coach Robert Adams. Cerritos dominated throughout most of the contest, but a pair of second half goals, including the game winner in the 76th minute, propelled the team to a 2-1 victory.

Cerritos, ranked sixth in the Division 5 poll as selected by the CIF-Southern Section Girls Soccer Advisory Committee, improved to 2-0-1 with the tie coming against St. Joseph High, 2-2, on Nov. 30. Gahr dropped to 1-4-0 but has faced La Mirada High once and Valley Christian High twice.

It’s really important that we do that, and I think it might come up a couple more times in the season where situations like that occur,’ Adams said of the close win after a rout. “We have a very wide range of opponents this year, so I expect that we’ll have to have it happen again. I think it will really help us in the future if we’re fortunate enough to be able to work through the 605 League, that we may get an opportunity [in the playoffs] where we’re going to need to be able to try to adjust to a different level of competition in a short period of time.”

Cerritos outshot the Gladiators 26-5 in the game with two of those legitimate scoring chances coming within the first nine minutes off the foot of sophomore forward Tatianna Chavez. The second of those shots was deflected by Gahr senior goalkeeper Kayla Bereal above the upper left corner of the net and led to one of eight corner kicks taken by the Dons.

In the 12th minute, Gahr’s speedy defender Makayla Wade, who was playing forward in this game, got past a pair of defenders for the final 50 yards and knocked in her second tally of the season. About 10 minutes later, another shot from Chavez was punched out and junior midfielder Vivian Lopez missed on the rebound.

Cerritos got on board in the 58th minute when junior midfielder Kristin Mijares booted a long range shot off her left foot that found the upper right corner of the net. Gahr had a chance to take the lead back with 10 minutes remaining in the game. But freshman midfielder Amaiya Purvis’ shot off a breakaway was deflected by sophomore goalkeeper Sofia Arancibia. That momentum led tofreshman midfielder Makayla Quesada’s game-winning goal, which came off a rebound when senior midfielder Camryn Camacho’s shot was initially stopped.

“We’re young and we don’t have all of our tactics all installed, but the kids showed a lot of grit in hanging in there and believing,” Adams said. “We made some adjustments, and they were able to put all those adjustments in place and start building better opportunities and we earned a couple of goals that way.”

The Gladiators hosted Norwalk on Dec. 9 and will play San Pedro High and Palmdale High on Saturday in pool play action of the Best in the West Winter Classic before travelling to St. Joseph on Thursday.

Last Thursday, Cerritos kept the pressure on Norwalk early and often and took advantage of Norwalk’s porous defense in the rout. Beginning with sophomore forward Cayla Oliveira’s goal in the fifth minute, Cerritos scored four more times in two-minute intervals and had a 5-0 lead 13 minutes in. Oliveira scored again in the 11th minute while senior forward Persephone Diep, senior midfielder Natalie Villa and Lopez scored in the early moments.

“There’s always a positive to get out of anything,” said Norwalk head coach Agustin Ojeda. “I think the girls got a chance to practice what we do on the field and to experience a game with pressure, especially playing against something like Cerritos, in which they have really good players and is a fast team.

Lopez added her second goal in the 20th minute as she followed up on her own rebound and two minutes later, senior midfielder Raeann Garcia took advantage of Norwalk senior goalkeeper Angelina Serrano being out of place.

Cerritos led 11-0 at the half on 31 shots and for the game, Mijares, sophomore forward Jaylah Allen and sophomore defender Olivia Mendoza also scored twice. Norwalk (0-6-1) failed to get a shot off and has been outscored 43-3 early on. The Dons travelled to Portolla High on Dec. 9 and will face Westminster High and Palm Desert High on Saturday in pool play action of the Best in the West WinterClassic. Cerritos will also travel to Paramount High on Tuesday and North Torrance High on Thursday. Norwalk is home to Artesia High on Tuesday and San Gabriel High on Thursday.

“I got a feeling from six days ago,” Ojeda said of how the game would be. “But we knew it was going to be a tough game. We’ve been full of injuries and stuff; no excusethough. But once again, it’s a learning experience [and] 15-0 might look bad on paper, but when you reflect on it, you get a lot of positives out of that kind of score. The girls never gave up, even though it was 15-0; that’s a positive.”

Ojeda went on to say that his goal is beating Bellflower High twice and Firebaugh High twice, which would lock down third place in the Suburban League. He doesn’t care about non-league games, or the scores of those games, and he considers non-league games to be like scrimmages or practices.

In other girls soccer action, Artesia and V.C. will also compete in Saturday’s Best in the West Winter Classic with the Pioneers ((0-5-0), who visited Western High on Dec. 9, facing Whittier Christian High and New West Charter High in pool play action. Artesia will also host Savanna High on Thursday.

V.C. (2-1-0) hosted Sage Hill on Dec. 9 and will square off against Marshall High and Kaiser High in the tournament before entertaining Mayfair High on Thursday.

BOYS SOCCER

Cerritos (0-3-1) tied Bellflower this past Tuesday and will visit Rosemead High today and La Mirada on Tuesday before hosting North Torrance on Thursday. Gahr (1-3-0) is home to Santa Fe High today and will travel to Kennedy High on Tuesday before hosting Mayfair on Thursday.

John Glenn High went to 0-5-0 following a 3-0 loss to V.C. this past Wednesday in the Troy Tournament. The Eagles have been outscored 19-0 this season as they will face Esperanza High today and Firebaugh on Thursday.

V.C. improved to 5-0-1 with the win over Glenn and will visit Sage Hill High today before facing Loara High on Saturday.