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Ceres soccer ties for third with Modesto
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The Ceres High boys soccer team won its final game of the season. The Bulldogs beat Beyer 2-1 in Modesto on Friday.

The Patriots would have been awarded a share of the league title with a win over Ceres.

"It was real special for me because I told the guys on Thursday I'm retiring," said Ceres coach Joe Byrne.

Byrne has a conflicting work schedule. He commutes to Livermore.

"I've been doing this for a long time," he said. "It's time for me to move on."

Ceres accomplished a lot under Byrne's guidance.

"The program has come a long way," he said. "(In the past), we were happy to not finish last in league."

The Bulldogs compiled a winning record in league the last three years. They made the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Playoffs for the first time in school history in 2003. And almost secured a berth in the postseason this year and in 2002.

"We missed the playoffs by one game each year," Byrne said.

Ceres tied for third in the MMC with Modesto at 8-6-1 in 2004.

Johansen, which lost twice to Ceres, and Beyer made the playoffs.

The Bulldogs would have earned a MMC playoff seed if they didn't lose three straight during the final three weeks.

Ceres' Victor Perez scored twice, Marques Castrejon dished out one assist and Pierre Mercado finished with eight saves in goal against Beyer.

Beyer's Agustin Mota had a goal, Jeff Hughes added an assist and Cale Erickson made five saves in goal against Ceres.

The Bulldogs managed to defeat the Patriots despite playing shorthanded. Omar Montez picked up a red card in the 42nd minute.

"We played almost the entire second half short a man," Byrne said.

Ceres broke a 1-1 tie in the 61st minute as Perez scored from 12 yards out off a pass from Castrejon.

Beyer's Ricky Vargas missed a penalty kick with two minutes left in the match.

"Pierre dove to his left to stop it," Byrne said.

Each team scored one goal in the first half.

Perez converted a penalty kick in the 21st minute.

Mota evened the score in the 38th minute. Hughes assisted.

Ceres, Davis tie

The Bulldogs dominated possession but had to settle for a 2-2 tie with the Davis Spartans at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park on Wednesday.

Perez scored twice, Eduardo Aguilar had two assists and goalie Giulio Zottarelli blocked two shots for the Bulldogs.

Davis tied it in the 60th minute thanks in part to a lack of communication.

Zottarelli misplayed a pass, which was lofted into the box, and the ball bounced off a defender's back and into the goal.

Each team scored once in the first half. - By DALE BUTLER / Reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier