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Earthquakes U-9 boys soccer team wins NorCal State Cup
The Ceres Earthquakes under-9 competitive boys soccer team won all nine of its games en route to a first-place finish at the 2011 NorCal State Cup.

"We made history," head coach Benji Mejia said. "This is the first under-9 team in Ceres to win state. It's a reward for their hard work."

Ceres shut out the Santa Clara Sporting Green 5-0 in the finals on Nov. 20 at Manteca's Woodward Park.

"I was probably more nervous than they were," Mejia said. "When they were warming up, they were joking around and laughing. They were relaxed. The other team was really serious."

David Mejia and Salvador Plancarte both scored two goals for Ceres, which held a slim 1-0 lead at halftime.

Mario Jauregui had one goal.

The Earthquakes won all five of their meetings against Santa Clara this year.

"We played a really good game," Beni Mejia said. "We passed the ball extremely well."

Ceres defeated Mustang Roma 5-1 in the semifinals on Nov. 19.

David Mejia collected a game-high three goals.

Cade Cowell scored twice.

The Earthquakes topped SRU Celtic 3-0 in the quarterfinals on Nov. 13 at Granite Regional Park.

Mejia, Cowell and Jauregui all contributed one goal.

Ceres kept its No. 1 ranking in Northern California.

The Earthquakes placed first at nine tournaments this season.

Ceres competed in an older age group during league play in an effort to prepare for State Cup.

"We want to be the best team in the country," coach Mejia said. "That's our focus. It's been a great experience working with the kids. They're always positive. They practice hard. They're not afraid of playing against anybody."