Los Angeles Soccer: Junior College
Ontiveros (La Puente/Arroyo HS) conceded just 11 goals in 25 games with 11 shutouts, a 0.54 goals-against average and a 90.4 save percentage for the Mounties (22-0-3), who won the mythical national championship at the Division III (non-scholarship) level.
Defender Eric Flores (Pomona/Garey HS) joins Ontiveros on the first team, and forward Luis Fuentes (Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista HS) is a second-team D3 All-America selection. Two more Mounties -- forward Javier Castro (Pomona/International Poly HS) and midfielder Edgar Padilla (Baldwin Park/Baldwin Park HS) -- receive All-West Region honors.
Mt. SAC coach Juan Sanchez is the Division III South Region's Coach of the Year.
In all, five local men and three women are JC All-Americans, and 10 men and eight women receive all-region awards. All are listed below:
The best soccer team in Southern California? Relatively speaking, it might be Mt. San Antonio College's men, who claimed a third successive state community college crown while extending their unbeaten streak to 38 games.
Danny Amaya (Rialto/Marshall HS) scored on a scorching blast to the upper corner, off the top of the post, midway through the second half to give the Walnut-based Mounties (22-0-3) a 1-0 triumph over Hartnell, from Salinas, in the final earlier this month in Sacramento. Mt. SAC posted its 14th shutout and sixth in its last seven games.
“You know what? It's awesome,” said head coach Juan Sanchez, who has taken the Mounties to four straight state final fours. “It's kind of like a dream. To win the first one was very difficult, No. 2 was very hard, and now No. 3 is just -- there's no words that can describe the feelings.”
The Mounties lost to Cerritos in the 2008 state title game, beat Taft with an experienced group in 2009 and unexpectedly cruised to the title last year with a young squad. This year's title wasn't unanticipated.
Sanchez had 14 sophomores at his disposal, including goalkeeper Alfredo Ontiveros (La Puente/Arroyo HS), the NSCAA JC Division III (non-scholarship) Player of the Year, first-team All-America defender Eric Flores (Pomona/Garey HS) and second-team All-America forward Luis Fuentes (Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista HS), who led Mt. SAC with 20 goals for 14 in his two-year career.
Sanchez, who played under Leo Cuellar at Cal State L.A. and professionally in Mexico and in U.S. indoor leagues (including a stint in the mid-'90s with the Anaheim Splash), was the JC West Region Coach of the the Year for the third time and is a finalist for the national honor. The Mounties won the unofficial D3 national title by finishing first in the NSCAA's national poll.
“This group really became a tight-knit family,” Sanchez said. “You could see it in the beauty of the way they play, the way they're there for each other. It's just really nice to see this end for these guys the way it happened.”
Juan Sanchez doesn't know -- and doesn't care.
After guiding the Walnut-based Mounties (22-0-3) to their third successive state community college men's soccer title, Sanchez said there was no pressure to go for No. 4.
“You know what? There was no pressure for us to win three,” he said. “I never look at stats. I never look at those things, because to me, at the end of the day, that's when the pressure starts to build. Not once did I put that in my head.
“The fourth [try], we'll attack it the same way we attacked the last three years. I don't see there being any more pressure than there was three years ago [before we'd won our first.”
Sanchez expects five starters to return, including Danny Amaya (Rialto/Marshall HS), whose splendid strike Sunday in Sacramento delivered the 1-0 triumph over Hartnell, from Salinas, in the title game -- and extended Mt. SAC's unbeaten streak to 38 games. The Mounties are the top-ranked JC team in the nation.
Among those departing are Luis Fuentes (Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista HS), who scored 34 goals in two seasons, and Edgar Padilla (Baldwin Park/Baldwin Park HS) and Javier Castro (Pomona/International Poly HS), who combined this year for 20 goals and 14 assists.
“It's going to be a rebuilding year,” Sanchez said, “but what we've done, it's going to make it easy for us to recruit. We know the type of kids we want, the type of mental toughness they need to bring to handle these tough, tough games and these runs the last three years.
“It's a rebuilding year, just like last year, when we didn't expect to win it, and they showed maturity at the right time and peaked at the right time, and we were able to win [the state title] with a bunch of freshmen.”
No. 1 Cerritos College and No. 2 Santa Barbara City College were upset in the first round of the state community college women's soccer playoffs.
On Tuesday, it was No. 3 Ventura's turn.
Another series of upsets has the Nos. 11 (Cypress), 15 (San Bernardino Valley) and 16 (Orange Coast) seeds playing Saturday for berths in the Dec. 2-4 state finals in Sacramento.
Jacqueline Lara (Buena Park/Valley Christian HS) scored a hat trick to lead Cypress (14-4-4) in a 4-0 rout of Ventura (18-4-0).
“This year's a weird year,” Ventura coach Steve Hoffman told the Ventura County Star. “I think you have to say Cypress is way better than their record says. I think they'll go to the state title game.”
The Chargers, who have won three state championships, the last seven years ago, will be home in one regional final against defending state champion San Bernardino Valley (14-5-4). The Wolverines won, 2-1, at College of the Canyons (14-4-3) as Mariela Ortega (Desert Hot Springs/Desert Hot Springs HS) and Milan Galloway (Rialto/Carter HS) scored in the first six minutes of the second half.
The other semifinal will match Cypress' Orange Empire Conference rivals Santiago Canyon (20-1-1), from Orange, and Orange Coast (14-4-4), from Costa Mesa. Santiago Canyon won the first meeting, 3-1; the second was a 1-1 tie.
Mt. San Antonio College's men are aiming for a third successive state community college soccer championship. Cerritos College's women are looking for their first title since back-to-back triumphs in 2007 and 2008.
They're the favorites, both ranked No. 1 in the nation -- and seeded first for the Southern California Regional playoffs, which kick off Saturday.
Mt. San Antonio (18-0-3), from Walnut, has a bye into a second-round game Tuesday, against San Diego City or Chaffey (Rancho Cucamonga). Cerritos (20-1-0), from Norwalk, opens Saturday against Orange Coast (Costa Mesa).
Cerritos' men (17-2-2), ranked third nationally, are seeded second in the South and also have a first-round bye. The winners of the four SoCal brackets -- two for men, two for women -- will join Northern California's winners at the Dec. 2-4 championships in Sacramento.
The Mounties, on a 34-game unbeaten streak, are led by Luis Fuentes (Azusa/Sierra Vista HS), who has 18 goals and 11 assists. Fuentes scored a hat trick in the 4-0 romp over College of the Canyons in last year's state title game, the seventh in eight years captured by Southern California schools.
Mt. SAC beat Cerritos in both regular-season meetings, 4-1 and 3-0.
Santa Barbara City (15-1-4) is seeded third and Oxnard (13-1-6) is No. 4.
Freshman Lauren Nanez (La Mirada/La Mirada HS) has 21 goals and 16 assists for Cerritos' women, who won their first 20 games, then fell Friday in their regular-season finale, a 1-0 decision against defending state champion San Bernardino Valley, which is seeded 15th.
Santa Barbara City (16-2-0), Ventura (17-3-0) and Santiago Canyon (18-1-1, from Orange) were seeded second through fourth.
Celina Baguiao/College of the Canyons athletics
Coach Phil Marcellin started the College of the Canyons' women's program in 1998 and the men's team in 2003.
SANTA CLARITA -- A 1-16-6 campaign had been followed by a 4-16-3 season, and College of the Canyons men's soccer coach Philip Marcellin and his staff sat in their home stadium and watched Cerritos College capture and celebrate the 2008 state junior college championship.
It left them with a most sour taste -- and a resolution.
“We said: We're not hosting [the state final four] again,” Marcellin said, “without making every effort we can to get in it.”
Jump forward two years. The state finals have returned to Canyons, and Marcellin's Cougars are on the cusp of history.
Riding an 11-game winning streak and improbable, or so it seemed, romps over state powers Santa Ana and Fresno City, they've made it to their first state title game and will take on reigning California champion Mt. San Antonio, from Walnut, Sunday morning at 10.
It is, Marcellin notes, “a dream matchup: Home field, defending state champs. … Whatever side we end up on, I don't think we can ask for anything more than that.”
Mt. SAC, the top seed in Southern California, overcame West Valley, 2-1, Friday in Santa Clarita on an 88th-minute penalty kick to reach the final for the third successive season. The defending champ will take on host Canyons, a 3-0 winner over Fresno City College -- Northern California's top team -- in Sunday morning's championship game.
Their link goes far deeper than that.
Sanchez was a midfield creator and Gonzalez a backline anchor for Cal State L.A.'s men's team in the early 1990s -- a breeding ground, it turns out, for outstanding coaches.
They're among several Golden Eagles from the era, all prodigies of former Mexican national-teamer Leo Cuellar, who have gone on to guide title-winning teams, and the jobs they've done this year -- no matter what occurs this weekend -- have been among their best.
Sanchez returned just five players from last year's champions for what was supposed to be a "restructuring" campaign. His Mounties are 17-1-4, ranked second in the state and fourth in the nation, and one victory -- Friday morning at 10 against Northern California's West Valley College (16-4-2) -- from an opportunity to defend their title on Sunday.
Gonzalez's Falcons (22-1-2) have more experience but are somewhat of an underdog, forced to knock off the nation's Nos. 1 and 3 teams to reach the final four. They're no favorite at Canyons, either: NorCal powerhouse Santa Rosa (17-0-5), the state's lone unbeaten side, is their foe in Friday's 4 p.m. semifinal.
The other games: Canyons (16-5-2) vs. Fresno City (15-4-3) in a men's semi at 1 p.m., and San Bernardino Valley (17-1-3) vs. Fresno City (19-2-2) in a women's clash at 7 p.m.
Cerritos College is heading to the state JC women's soccer final four for the third time in four years after ousting top-seeded L.A. Pierce on Saturday in Woodland Hills.Miranda Madrid (Lakewood/St. Joseph HS) set up goals by Daniela Martin (La Puente/La Puente HS) in the 22nd minute and Liliana Leos (Sylmar/South East HS) in the 26th to lead the Falcons (21-1-2), who won state titles in 2007 and 2008, to a 2-1 victory.
Third-seeded San Bernardino Valley (18-1-4) also advanced to next weekend's state finals at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, scoring three times in the first half en route to a 4-2 victory at No. 2 seed Ventura (17-3-2). Cerritos will face Santa Rosa (17-0-5), Northern California's top seed, and SBVC will take on Fresno City (19-2-2) in Friday's semifinals.
Defending champion Mt. San Antonio and Canyons advanced to the men's final four. The Mounties (17-1-4), the state's top-ranked team, routed San Diego City, 3-0, and will face West Valley (16-4-2) in the semis. Canyons (16-5-2) scored a 3-1 upset of second-seeded Santa Ana (15-4-4) and will meet Fresno City (15-4-3), NorCal's No. 1 seed.
Cerritos College might be seeking a fourth straight women's state title had it brought its best game to Santiago Canyon a year ago. The Falcons fell, 1-0, in Southern California Regional second-rounder, ending their bid for a third successive title.
Their path to a third crown in four years remains intact following Tuesday's 1-0 overtime triumph over Santiago Canyon. Justine Telles' goal in the 97th minute lifted fourth-seeded Cerritos (20-1-2), which will advance to the Dec. 3-5 state final four (at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita) with a victory Saturday at So Cal top seed L.A. Pierce (21-0-2).
Santiago Canyon (19-2-1), from Orange, lost to Cerritos in the 2007 state final, but last year's win prodded the Hawks to their first state title. They weathered plenty in Tuesday's regional second-round clash, with the dominant Falcons twice hitting the crossbar -- through Tatiana Cortes (La Mirada/La Mirada HS) and Liliana Leos (Sylmar/South East HS), both in the second half -- but succumbed to an overtime error.
Telles (Santa Fe Springs/St. Paul HS) curled in a corner kick from the left flank, and Santiago Canyon goalkeeper Angie Orozco (Irvine/Irvine HS) misplayed it into her net.
“They're all big, especially in the playoffs,” Cerritos coach Ruben Gonzalez said, “but Santiago's a well-coached team. We've battled before. Last year they got us, 1-0, and before that, we beat them in the state championship. It's always good to see two top teams battle.
“We played with confidence. For the most part, we were the better team. We held possession, and at the end they made a mistake on the corner kick, but we had opportunities that we didn't put away, and maybe we should have.”
The Falcons will be without Cortes against Pierce. She and Santiago Canyon's Janelle Hanna (Orange/El Modena HS) were red-carded after an overtime altercation.
Other first-round heroes:
- Gilberto Castaneda (Anaheim/Savanna HS) headed home a cross by Edgar Islas (Santa Ana/Santa Ana HS) midway through the first half to lift second-seeded Santa Ana (15-3-4) past visiting Irvine Valley, 1-0. The Dons' last game, 11 days earlier, was a 6-1 rout of IVC to clinch their 17th straight Orange Empire Conference title.
- Victor Rodriguez (Woodland Hills/Taft HS) tallied twice to lead sixth-seeded College of the Canyons (15-5-2) past Cerritos, 2-1, handing the Falcon men their first loss on their 3-year-old field. Cerritos, the No. 3 seed, had been 27-0-6 on the Falcon Soccer Field.
- Top-seeded L.A. Pierce (21-0-2) romped in women's play, 3-0, over visiting El Camino as Daisy Alvarenga (Lake Balboa/Birmingham HS), Briana Behrad (Woodland Hills/Taft HS) and Jessica Gonzalez (Mission Hills/Alemany HS) scored goals.
- Ventura (17-3-2), the No. 2 women's seed, routed visiting Santa Barbara City, 3-0, on goals by Lindsey Armenta (Camarillo/Rio Mesa HS), Taylor Benton (Camarillo/Camarillo HS) and Hope Weber (Camarillo/Camarillo HS).
- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONALS
Tuesday's games (Home teams listed first)
Mt. San Antonio 4, Oxnard 0
San Diego City 1, Santa Barbara City 0
Cerritos 1, College of the Canyons 2
Santa Ana 1, Irvine Valley 0
L.A. Pierce 3, El Camino 0
Cerritos 1, Santiago Canyon 0, OT
San Bernardino Valley 1, Cypress 1 (San Bernardino Valley advances on penalties, 9-8)
Ventura 3, Santa Barbara City 0
Saturday's games (times tentative)
College of the Canyons (15-5-2) at Santa Ana (15-3-4)
San Diego City (18-2-3) at Mt. San Antonio (16-1-4), 4 p.m.
Cerritos (20-1-2) at L.A. Pierce (21-0-2), 2 p.m.
San Bernardino Valley (17-1-4) at Ventura (17-3-2), 5:30 p.m.
- NORTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONALS
Santa Rosa (17-2-2) at Fresno City (14-4-3)
Evergreen Valley (19-1-3) at West Valley (15-4-2)
Cosumnes River (14-4-5) at Santa Rosa (16-0-5)
American River (18-4-0) at Fresno City (18-2-2)
The JC state women's championship has gone to Santiago Canyon or Cerritos the past three years, so it's not so far-fetched to consider the winner of Tuesday's showdown the favorite for this crown.
The rankings say otherwise -- L.A. Pierce, the top seed, could await the winner -- but we're going with history.
Fifth-seeded Santiago Canyon (19-1-1) opened defense of its state title over the weekend with a 2-0 victory over Chaffey as Dyanne Anderson (San Clemente/Dana Hills HS) scored on goal and set up another. The Hawks were ranked No. 1 nationally from preseason until a Nov. 9 loss to Cypress (18-1-3).
Sixth seed Cypress' only loss this season was, yes, to Santiago Canyon.
Fourth-seeded Cerritos (19-1-2), which routed East L.A., 6-0, in its Southern California Regional opener as Tiffany Schultz (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS) scored twice and assisted a third goal, will be home for Tuesday's regional semifinal. The Falcons won the state titles in 2007 and 2008, but they lost last year to Santiago Canyon at this stage.
Other first-round heroes:
- Fredy Razo (Lake Forest/El Toro HS) scored his 26th goal of the season, an overtime strike, to carry Irvine Valley's men past East L.A., 2-0.
- Jesus Landeros (Oxnard/Channel Islands HS) converted a penalty kick in overtime to lead Oxnard's men to a 3-2 win at L.A. Harbor.
- Taylor Steele (Camarillo/St. Bonaventure HS) scored on a penalty in stoppage to give Ventura a 2-1 triumph over San Diego Mesa.
- Chadd Johnson (Brea/Brea Olinda HS) tallied in the 90th minute as Cerritos' men edged Chaffey, 1-0.
- Andres Bueno (Santa Clarita/Golden Valley HS) had a goal and assist in College of the Canyons' 3-0 men's romp over Palomar.
- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONALS
Saturday's results (home teams listed first)
L.A. Harbor (Harbor City) 2, Oxnard (Oxnard) 3, OT
Santa Barbara City (Santa Barbara) 3, Allan Hancock (Santa Maria) 2
San Diego City (San Diego) 2, Rio Hondo (Whittier) 1
Cerritos (Norwalk) 1, Chaffey (Rancho Cucamonga) 0
College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita) 3, Palomar (San Marcos) 0
Irvine Valley (Irvine) 2, East L.A. (Monterey Park) 1, OT
L.A. Pierce (Woodland Hills) 1, Long Beach City (Long Beach) 0
Santa Monica (Santa Monica) 0, El Camino (Torrance) 1
Santiago Canyon (Orange) 2, Chaffey (Rancho Cucamonga) 0
Cerritos (Norwalk) 6, East L.A. (Monterey Park) 0
San Bernardino Valley (San Bernardino) 3, Bakersfield (Bakersfield) 1
Cypress (Cypress) 4, Miramar (San Diego) 2
Santa Barbara City (Santa Barbara) 7, Moorpark (Moorpark) 1
Ventura (Ventura) 2, San Diego Mesa (San Diego) 1
Oxnard (13-4-5) at Mt. San Antonio (Walnut, 15-1-4), 4 p.m.
Santa Barbara City (16-2-3) at San Diego City (17-2-3), 2 p.m.
College of the Canyons (14-5-2) at Cerritos (11-2-9), 11 a.m.
Irvine Valley (15-4-2) at Santa Ana (Santa Ana, 14-3-4), 2 p.m.
El Camino (13-6-3) at L.A. Pierce (20-0-2), 2 p.m.
Santiago Canyon (19-1-1) at Cerritos (19-1-2), 2 p.m.
Cypress (18-1-3) at San Bernardino Valley (17-1-3), 2 p.m.
Santa Barbara (16-3-2) at Ventura (16-3-2), 5:30 p.m.
The state junior college brackets are out, and here's a group of death for you: L.A. Pierce (19-0-2), Cerritos (18-1-2) and Santiago Canyon (18-1-1). They're competing for one slot at the Dec. 3-5 final four at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.
Pierce, from Woodland Hills, is the top women's seed in the Southern California. Cerritos, the No. 4 seed from Norwalk, won state titles in 2007 and 2008.
Defending state champ Santiago Canyon, from Orange, has been No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III (non-scholarship) poll since preseason, but a loss Nov. 9 to sixth-seeded Cypress (17-1-3) knocked it down to a fifth seed.
Second-seeded Ventura (15-3-2) and third-seeded San Bernardino Valley (16-1-3) join Cypress in the other So Cal bracket. Two teams from the South and two from NorCal advance to the final four. First round games are Saturday.
In the So Cal men's brackets, top-seeded Mt. San Antonio (15-1-4), from Walnut, and second-seeded Santa Ana (14-3-4) have first-round byes.