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Eastern Florida Women's Soccer Falls 5-0 to Cerritos

Sept. 1, 2013 - Cerritos (CA) College jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead and went on to blank Eastern Florida State College's women's soccer team 5-0 on Sunday on the Melbourne Campus.

The victory moved Cerritos, the defending National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) Division III (non-scholarship) national champion to 2-0.

Eastern Florida, which is ranked second nationally in the NSCAA Division I and NJCAA Division I polls, fell to 2-1-1.

The victory was the second for Cerritos over a ranked NJCAA team, the Falcons dispatching St. Louis Community College 6-1 on Friday on Eastern Florida's field. Eastern Florida and St. Louis tied 1-1 in double overtime on Thursday.

On Sunday Cerritos' Claudia Lopez scored on a penalty kick 14 minutes and 58 seconds into the match for a 1-0 lead. Less than eight minutes later Cerritos' April Juarez beat Eastern Florida goalkeeper Amy-Clason Messina on a rebound with an assist from Carolina Ornelas for a 2-0 lead.

Eastern Florida slowly gained momentum though, managing three shots on goal all denied by Cerritos goalkeeper Alexis Carrillo. But whatever mojo the Titans gained was quickly extinguished at the 38:48 mark of the second half when Ornelas put a rebound off the crossbar past Clason-Messina for a 3-0 lead.

Lopez then converted her second penalty kick of the game with 37:58 to play and wrapped up the scoring with her hat trick goal with 18:52 remaining.

Cerritos outshot Eastern Florida 17-12. Cerritos keepers Carrillo and Adrianna Salazar combined for eight saves while Clason-Messina and Katelyn Kern combined for nine.

Eastern Florida head coach Jeff Carr was not happy with his team's effort.

"We were banging the ball around but two penalty kicks," Carr said. "And I know three goals were mistakes that we had. Against the top team in the country you can't do that.

"They abused us. They were by far the better team. It wasn't even close. I think after the first penalty kick we kind of shut down. We were banging the ball around and playing decent before that. They're a different level than us."

Last season Eastern Florida (then Brevard Community College) lost its third game of the season, 4-1 to then-defending NJCAA national champion Tyler Junior College. But the Titans ran off 13 straight victories before losing 3-0 in the national tournament final to Paradise (AZ) Community College.

Is this team capable of such a rebound?

"That's a good question," Carr said. "That's the unknown. Hopefully that's lesson learned and we can build on this. Right now that was poor.

"But you have to applaud Cerritos. They are a special team. Very special."

Eastern Florida continues its quest for its first victory on its new home field, entertaining Florida College System Activities Association/NJCAA Region 8 foe Polk State College at 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Eastern Florida plays Polk and fellow FCSAA/Region 8 foe Broward College three times each to determine which one team advances to the postseason.