Taft beats undefeated Cerritos 4-1 in shootout

SACRAMENTO -- Taft College freshman goalkeeper Brandon Garcia deflected two Cerritos penalty kicks before driving home one of his own here Friday to send the Cougars into the state championship match on Sunday.

After playing the previously undefeated Falcons to a 1-all draw after 90 minutes of regulation play and 30 minutes of scoreless overtime the Cougars went 4-for-4 on penalty kicks with Garcia blocking two to give Taft an insurmountable edge. With TC leading 3-1 he then calmly stepped up and drilled a shot into the left corner of the net to send his team into Sunday’s title match against the winner of the afternoon match between Fresno and Mount San Antonio.

Freshman defender Clayton Torr opened the penalty kick phase by shooting one just over the outstretched hand of Falcon keeper Jordan Aldama. Garcia rejected the first Cerritos shot before Christian Cabrera rifled a shot into the left side when Aldama guessed right.

After Cerritos’ Esteban Camacho sneaked one past Garcia to make it 2-1 Alexander Cabrera rifled his kick into the right corner Alexander Cabrera. Garcia made his second save then buried his PK into the left corner to send the Cougars into delirium.

The title matchup will be played Sunday at 10 a.m. at American River College.

Cerritos was the No. 1 Southern California seed and Taft No. 2 from the north. Cougar rival Fresno is the No. 1 NorCal seed and Mt. SAC the No. 2 SoCal pick. Taft and Fresno tied for the Central Valley Conference title after playing scoreless ties in both meetings. If the Rams knock off the Mounties there will be a third matchup, this one much bigger than the two previous skirmishes.

The match will be live-streamed on YouTube. Access it from the cccaasports.org/sports/msoc.