Los Angeles Soccer: Mt. SAC

JC: Mt. SAC makes it three in a row

December, 4, 2011
Danny Amaya scored what his coach called “the most beautiful goal you could imagine,” and it brought Mt. San Antonio College riches well beyond what it ever imagined.

Amaya's goal midway through the second half Sunday afternoon delivered a third successive state community college men's soccer title to the Mounties (22-0-3), who extended their unbeaten streak to 38 games with a 1-0 triumph over Hartnell (19-3-3) in Sacramento.

Amaya tallied on a 25-yard blast to the upper-corner, in off the top of the post, and Mt. SAC, from Walnut, used solid play at the back to close out its 14th shutout of the season and sixth in the last seven games.

“You know what? It's awesome,” Juan Sanchez, who has guided the Mounties to four successive state final fours, told ESPN Los Angeles. “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 now words that can describe the feelings.”

The Mounties were favored from the season's start after returning several pivotal players from the group that beat College of the Canyons in last year's final. They're ranked No. 1 in the national polls, and that means something to them because California junior colleges aren't involved in the NJCAA national championships.

“Hopefully, we'll get the mythical national title,” Sanchez said. “That was one of our goals. Last year we won the state championship and finished third [in the national poll], and we want to get it this year.”

Mt. SAC had more possession in an otherwise even battle, repeatedly penetrating through Amaya (Rialto/Marshall HS) and top scorer Luis Fuentes (Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista HS). Hartnell, from Salinas, struck a post early in the second half and nearly netted an equalizer, by Max Estrada, in the final moments.

WOMEN: Santiago Canyon falls in OT

Cara Curtin scored four times to lead Santa Rosa Junior College in a cat-and-mouse women's final in Sacramento, netting the decisive goal with 30 seconds to go in overtime for a 4-3 triumph over Santiago Canyon.

The Bear Cubs (20-1-3), who had lost in three previous state title games, had rallied on a late Curtin penalty kick to force overtime but saw Santiago Canyon, from Orange, overcome one deficit in overtime.

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JC: Mt. SAC, Cerritos draw No. 1 seeds

November, 15, 2011

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.

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