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Red-clad fans stormed the field at Bulldog Stadium on Tuesday, April 8 following Ceres High's 2-0 victory over crosstown rival Central Valley in varsity girls soccer.

The Valley Oak League contest was played in front of more than 100 spectators. The two teams battled under the lights for 80 minutes.

The Bulldogs responded to the electric atmosphere. Ceres High's student section, which consisted mostly of boys soccer players with red and white paint on their faces, stood the entire game. They bounced up and down in unison and broke into chants every time Ceres threatened.

"It helped us a lot to have support here cheering for us," Bulldogs standout Caitlin Cerny said. "I heard it the whole game but we were strictly told not to pay attention to it. It meant a lot."

Cerny, a 5-foot-8 senior striker, scored twice against the Hawks to push her team-leading goal total to 14.

Ceres High (3-5) defeated Central Valley (2-6) for the second time this year. The Bulldogs edged the Hawks 1-0 in the consolation championship game of the Central Valley Spring Bash in March. The two teams split last year.

"We all ate healthy today," Caitlin said. "We all rested for the game. We wanted it bad. And it feels good because we got it. I'm very proud of all the girls."

The Bulldogs thoroughly dominated the opening half of the first VOL meeting last week but held just a slim 1-0 lead.

Cerny opened the scoring in the 29th minute. Caitlin's left-footed shot sailed into the right-upper corner of the goal.

Ceres High took a 2-0 lead when Cerny capitalized on Hawk defender Vicki Cajero's mistake less than six minutes into the second half. Cajero tried to play the ball back to goalkeeper Veronica Nides. Caitlin stole the pass and finished from 8 yards out with her left foot. The ball rolled just inside the right post.

Veronica, who tried to make a diving save, exited the game several minutes later after re-aggravating a right ankle injury.

Ceres High goalkeeper Nichole Fitch made three saves. Cynthia Gonzalez also played a major role in stymieing Central Valley's offense.

"They had a strong defense," Hawks coach Eddie David said. "They played tough. We just couldn't get through."

Ceres High's fans formed a tunnel for Cerny and Co. to run through after the game. Water flew overhead as they celebrated together. Across the field, Central Valley players gathered their belongings and headed for the exit.

Prior to the showdown, Bulldog and Hawk players partook in pregame introductions.

Ceres High senior Alejandra Jimenez performed the national anthem.

The Bulldogs didn't disappoint their home fans as they dominated from the opening whistle.

"We were ready," Cerny said.