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Hawks, Bulldogs prevail
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Ceres High School's varsity boys soccer team has compiled a 2-0 record in Valley Oak League play since suffering a 3-1 loss to Oakdale.

Head coach Koeurn Phe's lineup change has paid huge dividends.

Pedro Gomez moved from midfielder to sweeper.

Victor Corona, a transfer from Washington state, starts at left fullback.

Rafael Mercado plays on the right side.

"When you have a strong defense, it gives everyone confidence," Phe said.

Luis Martinez, Ceres High's standout forward, logged time at sweeper in the second half of Thursday's 3-1 victory over host Sierra.

"It wasn't an easy game," Phe said. "Sierra came out aggressive. We were able to put a lot of pressure on their defense in the second half. That changed the momentum."

The Timberwolves and Bulldogs battled to a 1-1 tie in the first half. Martinez converted a penalty kick in the 11th minute.

Corona and Marcos Rochas both scored after intermission for Ceres High, which moved to 4-1 in the VOL standings.

Sierra dropped to 2-1-2 in conference play.

Hawks 3, Wildcats 1

Central Valley High School varsity boys soccer coach Omar Leon had a message for his team at intermission.

"Forget about the first half," he said.

Despite leading 2-1 against Sonora on Thursday in Ceres, Hawk players were disappointed with their overall play.

Heavily-favored Central Valley held on for a 3-1 victory.

"We didn't deserve to win," Leon said. "I'm very disappointed. We have the best players but we haven't put it together. I spoke to the players about that. I talked about the importance of teamwork."

The Hawks improved to 4-0-1 in the Valley Oak League standings.

Sonora dropped to 1-0-4 in conference play.

Jose Ramirez led Central Valley with one goal and one assist.

Daniel Ochoa and Hugo Contreras both scored once.

Goalkeeper Gerardo Cazares tallied five saves.

The Hawks will play host to the Bulldogs this Thursday. The crosstown showdown will get underway at 4 p.m.

Central Valley defeated (1-0) and tied (0-0) Ceres High last season.

"It's going to be one heck of a game," Phe said. "I'm looking forward to that one.