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El Dorado eliminates CV in soccer
Competing in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Playoffs for the first time in its two-year history, Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team battled back from a two-goal deficit but couldn't complete the comeback in losing 3-2 to host El Dorado on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in Placerville.

"It's a bad way to end our season," Hawks senior goalie Eddy Salinas said. "It's disappointing because we didn't win league or sections. We didn't reach all of our goals. But that's life."

Marco Rodriguez and Jose Ramirez each scored a goal in defeat for Central Valley, which compiled a 9-8-1 overall record and finished in third place in the Valley Oak League (9-3-1). The Hawks had to forfeit six games for inadvertently using an ineligible player.

Eric Hernandez tallied two goals and an assist, Brian Stephens scored once and Patrick McDade made seven saves for the top-seeded Cougars of the Pioneer Valley League (9-3-1). El Dorado lost 14-13 in a penalty shootout to VOL champion Oakdale in the section finals.

The Hawks edged the Mustangs 1-0 in conference play on Oct. 9.

"It's good to know somebody from the Valley won," Salinas said. "Knowing we were better, that hurts the most."

Central Valley fell behind 2-0 in the opening half. Stephens shouldered in a Hernandez cornerkick in the ninth minute. Eric tallied his first goal off a cornerkick in the 27th minute.

"Everybody played bad in the first half," Salinas said. "I don't know what it was. Maybe it was the field. It was horrible. It was all dirt. We couldn't play our type of soccer. The field didn't affect them. All they did was play kick ball. Honestly, I don't think they were that good. I think we were way better than them."

Rodriguez's penalty kick cut the deficit to 2-1 early in the second half. Four minutes later, Ramirez slotted a close-range shot past El Dorado's keeper to even the score. Abimael Galindo delivered the pass.

"We dominated," Salinas said.

With 15 minutes remaining in the contest, Hernandez blasted a 25-yard free kick over a wall of Central Valley defenders and into the upper left corner of the goal.

"It was a nice shot," Salinas said.

The Hawks saw their nine-game unbeaten streak come to an end with the loss.

Central Valley still has a lot to be proud of.

Salinas and Co. made history in 2007.

"I don't consider it a big accomplishment," Eddy said. "With the team we had, we should have done a lot better."