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Cerritos girls soccer blanks Artesia to win fourth straight 605 League title

 

JANUARY 27, 2022

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

Editor’s note: Any scheduled games for the upcoming week are subject to being canceled or postponed after time of press due to Covid reasons/protocols.

Even in a shortened 605 League season in which the league record is being determined by only the first meeting with each other, it took four games for the Cerritos High girls soccer team to win its fourth straight league crown. Backed by another dominating performance by their defense, the Dons blanked host Artesia High 4-0 this past Tuesday, improving to 11-1-3 overall and 4-0 in league play.

As soon as the game concluded, Cerritos head coach Robert Adams clapped his hands a few times and immediately walked over to congratulate Artesia senior goalkeeper Patricia Alvarado Aguayo. After all, she took on 46 shots from Cerritos, making 17 saves.

“Well, it definitely feels different than last year where we played one level and had more of a participatory-type team,” Adams said of winning another league crown. “This was a true varsity team, and this is a really good team; a really special group that plays together and they’re very talented. So, this year means a little more in the odd year. But’s it’s a championship, nonetheless.”

In five league games this season, with the second meeting against Oxford Academy not counting towards their league record, the Dons have recorded at least 37 shots and had not had a shot taken against them in league action until the 76th minute when Cerritos sophomore Sofia Arancibia stopped a free kick from junior defender Olivia Sanchez. Offensively, the Dons have not been shutout in league action while scoring 53 goals in the five games.

The Dons attacked Alvarado Aguayo early as Cerritos junior midfielder Kristin Mijares and sophomore midfielder Cayla Oliveira each missed three chances to score. It wasn’t until the 18th minute when Mijares fed a ball to senior forward Persephone Diep whose 10th goal made it 1-0. In the 25th minute, freshman midfielder Makayla Quesada got a ball that trickled past the Artesia netminder to make it 2-0 and four minutes after that, Diep scored again, this time from sophomore midfielder Jahzaiyah Allen. The final tally came in the 34th minute when Mijares took a corner kick, passed to senior defender Natalie Villa whose shot went in the upper right corner of the net. The corner kick was set up when a shot from Diep was deflected by Alvarado Aguayo.

“We have a dominant midfield, so Kristin from the outside…because of the work the middles do, we’re able to put Kristin on a wing where she can use her talent to be really offensive from time to time,” Adams said. “Our defense is super solid and we’re able to compress the other team as long as we flow it around.”

Artesia’s first playoff appearance didn’t come until 2009 and the program was playing for its first league title in school history. Previously, the Pioneers have finished in second place in 2011, 2013 and 2019, but this will be the 10th time the program will be going to the playoffs.

“I told the girls before the game that we haven’t been in a position like this before, to have a chance of a league title with either a victory or a tie,” said Artesia head coach Hugo Umana. “But we were out a couple of players because of different reasons. So, that definitely was a factor for us as far as our makeup and our game. But I think we did our best and left it all out on the field which is all I could ask for.”

Cerritos, ranked eighth in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 poll, is scheduled to visit Pioneer High on Monday and host John Glenn High on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Pioneers (4-12-1, 3-1-0) clinched second place and are scheduled to visit Oxford Academy today before hosting Pioneer on Monday.

“We had a very competitive preseason where we played all teams in a higher division than us,” Umana said. “We knew that going in, it was going to be a tough preseason because in league, all we need to do is finish, ideally in the top two positions. But obviously that kind of hinders our overall record. But at the same time, it’s all about how you finish your season. We have a habit of starting off slow and getting better towards the end of the season.”

In other soccer action with playoff implications, the Artesia boys, ranked third in Division 5, clinched the 605 League championship as it is scheduled to host Oxford Academy today and visit Whitney on Monday and Pioneer on Wednesday. The Pioneers, who have won straight game, are 13-1-1 overall and have shutout eight opponents, including three in a row.

The Gahr girls improved to 6-11-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the San Gabriel Valley League after edging Dominguez High 2-1 this past Tuesday. The Gladiators are battling with Warren High (3-1-1) and Paramount High (3-2-2) as two of those three will claim second and third place. Gahr hosted Lynwood High on Jan. 27 and will travel to Warren on Monday before hosting Paramount on Wednesday.

The La Mirada boys (9-2-2, 3-1-0) are sitting in second place in the Suburban League, trailing Norwalk High as the two are scheduled to make-up a Jan. 20 game this evening at Norwalk. The Matadores will then visit Mayfair High on Tuesday before hosting Firebaugh High on Thursday. Norwalk, which is No. 2 in Division 2, is 11-1-2 overall and 5-0-0 as it will host Firebaugh on Tuesday and go to Bellflower High on Thursday.

The La Mirada girls (10-2-6, 5-0-0) have not allowed a goal in league action as they will be at the opposite site as the La Mirada boys on the same day.

The two Valley Christian High teams captured another Olympic League championship as the boys, ranked fifth in Division 5, improved to 12-2-2 after getting past Maranatha High 2-1 last Friday while the girls went to 9-4-2 after a 6-0 win over Maranatha and Mayfair, 3-2, this past Wednesday. Both V.C. teams have not lost in league action as the boys hosted Heritage Christian High on Jan. 27 and will entertain Whittier Christian High on Tuesday and Village Christian High on Thursday while the girls end their regular season on the road.