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CHS soccer team exacts revenge
Ceres High School's varsity boys soccer team executed its game plan to perfection during its 3-1 thrashing of Oakdale on Wednesday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.

"We focused on our game, which is distributing the ball to the wings," Bulldog forward Luis Martinez said. "We didn't worry about what they were doing."

The win avenged a 3-1 loss suffered at Oakdale earlier this season. Ceres High also remained in second-place in the Valley Oak League standings (8-2-1, 25 points) behind Central Valley (29). The Bulldogs, Hawks, Sierra Timberwolves (24), East Union Lancers (19) and Mustangs (16) are battling for the conference's three playoff berths.

"Our season's pretty much riding on this," said Ceres High goalkeeper Kyle Cerny, who totaled nine saves. "If we lose, we drop to third or fourth place,"

"Losing or tying is not an option," Martinez added. "We want to go to playoffs."

The Bulldogs received stellar play from their midfield, which consisted of Luis Corona, Pedro Gomez, Jesus Cervantes and Cesar Hurtado.

Gomez played sparingly during the first meeting.

"Pedro's energy level is contagious," Ceres High head coach Koeurn Phe said. "He pretty much sets our attack."

Martinez, Corona and David Estrada helped the Bulldogs build a 3-1 lead in the first half.

Estrada, Corona and Martinez scored goals in the 11th, 24th and 30th minutes, respectively.

Martinez and Alejandro Castro assisted.

"We took advantage of every opportunity we had," Cerny said. "We came out and dominated. We should have had them the first time. But we had a lot of mental mistakes."

The Bulldogs exacted revenge during the pivotal VOL game.

"Our execution was perfect today," Phe said. "We were able to spread the ball."

Hawks win again

Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team pulled away in the second half to beat Weston Ranch 5-2 in an important Valley Oak League contest on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in Stockton.

With five games left in the regular season, the Hawks sit alone atop the conference standings.

Central Valley (9-0-2) held a four-point lead over Ceres High (8-2-1) as of Sunday. Sierra, East Union and Oakdale are also still mathematically alive in the race for the VOL's three playoff berths.

"At this point, we know we can't afford to make any mistakes with Ceres and the other teams right behind us," Hawks head coach Omar Leon said. "The margin for error is slim."

Central Valley striker Daniel Ochoa posted a hat trick against the upset-minded Cougars (3-7). Antonio Cabrera and Trinidad Sandoval both scored once. Larry Hernandez dished out three assists. Jose Ramirez collected his 16th and 17th assists of the season. Goalie Gerardo Cazares had three saves."

Central Valley outscored Weston Ranch 3-1 after intermission despite playing against the wind. Ochoa led the way with two goals.

"The weather was terrible," Leon said. "It was very windy and rainy. Everyone was soaked within the first five minutes of the game."

Central Valley will play host to Sonora on Thursday at 4 p.m. The Hawks, who are trying to repeat as VOL champions, are also closing in on their third consecutive playoff appearance.

"It's totally up to us," Leon said. "If we continue to play like we've been playing lately, I'm sure we'll be fine."