By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
CV boys soccer team loses 5-2 to East Union in semifinals of section playoffs
There will be no storybook ending to Central Valley's varsity boys soccer season.

The Hawks, ranked fourth in the state and 20th in the nation by last week, fell two wins shy of capturing the school's first-ever section title in a team sport.

East Union upset Central Valley 5-2 in the semifinals of the Division-IV playoffs on Thursday in Ceres.

The Hawks finished runners-up the previous two years, losing 3-2 to Bella Vista last season and 2-0 to crosstown-rival Ceres High in 2009.

"It's hard knowing it's our last game," Central Valley senior striker Daniel Ochoa said. "I'm proud of my team. Other teams would kill to be in our position. We had a great season."

The Hawks compiled a 19-2-1 overall record and finished in first place in the Western Athletic Conference (10-1-1).

The Lancers improved to 15-7-2. East Union won the Valley Oak League crown (11-1-2).

East Union extended its unbeaten streak to 13 games.

Central Valley had its 22-game unbeaten streak in league play snapped by Ceres High on Oct. 26.

The Hawks squandered leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before escaping with a 5-3 win over Galt in the quarterfinals.

"People thought we were going to dominate in the playoffs," Ochoa said. "Sections is a different story. It's a lot more competitive. We could have done way better."

Central Valley never recovered following its lackluster start. The Hawks fell behind 3-1 in the first half.

East Union's Miguel Barbosa and Victor Garibay scored on headers in the opening 10 minutes.

Lancer Cruz Hernandez lofted a 25-yard shot into the box and the ball slipped through Hawk goalkeeper Andres Cazares' hands in the 39th minute.

Omar Orozco accounted for Central Valley's first goal. He headed in Ochoa's deflected shot attempt in the 22nd minute.

Central Valley could have used Samuel Martinez's help on defense. Martinez had to sit out the game after picking up a red card against Galt.

"I couldn't believe it," Ochoa said while talking about his team's first-half struggles against the Lancers. "We thought it was going to be easy. It should have been us and them (Vista del Lago) in the finals. But East Union beat us. They're one of the best teams we played this year."

East Union's defense withstood a barrage of Hawk shots before putting the game out of reach in the second half.

Ochoa and Orozco had multiple scoring opportunities.

Daniel's header off Juan Medrano's assist cut the deficit to 3-2 and energized his teammates and Central Valley's crowd.

Lancer Scott Fisher tallied the most important goal of the game when he followed his own miss with a close-range, tap-in the 64th minute. Fisher capitalized on a defensive blunder.

Garibay's second goal, a header off Jordan Kron's third assist with 14:30 to play, completely dashed Central Valley's comeback hopes.

The Hawks lost to the Lancers despite holding a 19-11 advantage in shots.

"They did what I asked them to do in the second half," Hawks head coach Omar Leon said. "They showed a lot of pride. They played really well. They should take it as a learning experience."

Central Valley continued its winning tradition this season.

The Hawks won their fourth straight league title and participated in the playoffs for the fifth year in a row.

Central Valley wanted to exact revenge against Vista del Lago. East Union played spoiler.

"It (winning the section title) was not meant to be again," Leon said. "It would have been great for my players and the school."