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Eagles eliminate Bulldogs in soccer
Ceres High School's varsity boys soccer team has experienced a remarkable turnaround under third-year head coach Koeurn Phe's guidance.

The Bulldogs were denied the chance to defend their Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title last week.

Ceres High, the Western Athletic Conference No. 3 seed, lost 3-0 to Sierra Valley Conference champion Vista del Lago in a quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

"We're disappointed," Phe said.

The host Eagles improved to 13-1-2 on the year. Vista del Lago had a near-perfect league record, collecting 10 wins and two ties.

The Bulldogs finished the season with an 8-9-3 record. Ceres High placed third in the WAC standings (6-3-1).

"For whatever reason, we didn't play our best," Phe said. "We were well-prepared. Give Vista del Lago credit. They were far better than what we anticipated. They had a strong defense. They were able to contain us. We just played against a superior opponent. They're a well-balanced team."

The Bulldogs were limited to just three shots on goal.

Ceres High strikers Ramon Corona, Ulises Lua and Cesar Hurtado were held in check.

Vista del Lago pulled away after a competitive first half.

The Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 2-0 in the final 40 minutes.

"They took it to us," Phe said. "We didn't have an answer."

Ceres High had high hopes for the 2010 season despite losing multiple starters from the previous year's team to graduation, including Luis Martinez, David Estrada, Kyle Cerny and Pedro Gomez.

"Considering what we had, we did well this year," Phe said. "The program is moving in the right direction."

The Bulldogs have won 40 games, captured one section title and qualified for the playoffs three times since 2008.