Men win 3-1 while women win 4-0
Both Taft College soccer teams continue to look impressive and hope to continue in that mode today at the San Emidio Street field.
The Cougar women, who are 5-2-0, will host Rio Hondo College at 1 p.m. with the men, who are 4-3-0, opening Central Valley Conference play two hours later against West Hills-Lemoore.
Men beat Cerritos
Rogelio Sustaita scored two goals and his teammates played solid defense as the Cougars defeated southern California powerhouse Cerritos College 3-1.
Taft led 1-0 at the half on the strength of Sustaita's goal in the 16th minute after taking a pass from Jose Barajas.
"We played really well in the first half," head coach Angelo Cutrona said.
Although Cerritos (4-2-1) came out aggressive in the second half, Cougar defenders kept the Falcons from threatening.
In the 77th minute Sustaita took a pass from Jordan Reding following a throw-in near the Cerritos goal and sent a header into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
The Falcons turned up the pressure and got their lone goal with three minutes left when the Cougars made a defensive mistake on a corner kick.
Taft added a third goal in the waning moments when the Cerritos goalie knocked down midfielder Gerardo Gonzalez, who had broken free on the left side. That drew a red card, and Edgar Rodriguez drilled home the penalty kick.
TC had 10 shots on goal.
Defensively, the Cougars were stingy, frustrating the Falcons with their quickness.
Goalkeeper J.D. Cisneros recorded four saves.
Cutrona thought the extra practice time from an eight-day layoff helped.
"We were well prepared and the players executed the game plan perfectly," he said. "The extra work helped us focus on the little things. Now it's all about preparing for the Tuesday-Friday (conference) schedule. We don't have anymore weekend games."
Women roll 4-0
It took the Cougar women a while to get warmed up during their match against Cuesta in San Luis Obispo but when they did it was a blur.
"We didn't score until the 73rd minute," head coach Myisha Cutrona said. "But when we got going it was just goal after goal after goal after goal."
After Christina Salazar knocked in a ricochet off a Joanna Espinoza shot the Cougars went on a spree.
"After that goal we scored again in the 79th minute, the 81st minute and the 83rd minute," Cutrona said.
The scoring spree was a relief.
"I don't know what it is, but it takes us so long to get going. It's driving me crazy. I told them we can't do that against really good teams, that it's going to hurt us."
Espinoza got the assist on the second goal with freshman midfielder Celia Rangel driving her first goal of the season into the net off a crossing pass.
Rangel got another goal off a shot she miss-hit that bounced off a defender right back to her. She didn't miss the second time.
Flor Cortez, a freshman from Arvin, got her first goal of the season after taking a pass from Kaylnn Talalotu-Kealoha.
"Kaylnn has been playing defender but because of injuries we moved her to forward to give us some much needed strength as an attacker," Cutrona said.
Freshman goalkeeper Lizette Gomez had another good day guarding the net.
"In the first half Cuesta had a penalty kick that Lizette blocked, and that gave us a big lift."
The Cougar women have two more non-conference matches after today – at Chaffey next Tuesday and Moorpark on Friday – before opening CVC play Oct. 11 in Visalia against College of the Sequoias.