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Crosstown nail-biter for girls soccer
Crosstown rivals Central Valley and Ceres High faced off in junior-varsity girls soccer on March 28.

The host Hawks prevailed in thrilling fashion, 3-2.

"I told them before the game if we won we'd take it easy at practice on Thursday," Central Valley head coach Chris Meshach said. "They just didn't want to lose."

Third-place Central Valley improved to 3-2-1 in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

Second-place Ceres High dropped to 4-2 in league play.

The Hawks lost twice to the Bulldogs last year.

Andrea Alvarez, Mayra Duran, Maryann Favela, Sandra Gomez and Karina Montes, Central Valley's five returning players, exacted revenge. Miguel Saldate, Alvarez's uncle, coaches Ceres High.

"The kids are excited to get the win," Meshach said. "They wanted some payback."

Favela and Daisy Gutierrez both scored once for the Hawks. Celeste Acebes dished out one assist.

Abbie Schmidt accounted for both of the Bulldogs' goals.

Central Valley's speedy strikers, including Acebes, put constant pressure on Ceres High's defense. Celeste created a host of scoring chances from the right side.

"She's done that a lot this year," Meshach said.

Central Valley battled back from a 1-0 deficit and built a 2-1 lead in the opening half.

Gutierrez evened the score from close-range off a pass from Celeste.

Maryann blasted an 18-yard shot into the back of the net.

The Hawks tallied the winning goal with less than 10 minutes to play. Acebes' cornerkick deflected off a Bulldog defender.

"We forced it to happen," Meshach said. "We didn't want to settle for a tie."