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Hawks to semifinals of Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoff tourney
Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team rolled past its first two opponents in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs this past week.

The fifth-seeded Hawks shut out No. 4 Benicia 2-0 in the quarterfinals on the road last Thursday.

"That's the best team we've played this year," Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said. "It could have gone either way. It was very competitive."

Junior striker Omar Orozco scored twice for the Hawks, who improved to 24-2-1 on the year.

Anthony Calvo and Ozzie Ramos both collected one assist.

Goalkeeper David Saucedo made seven saves.

Evan Sousa totaled eight saves for Benicia (22-3-1).

Central Valley beat Benicia despite competing shorthanded.

Defender Samuel Martinez had to sit out one game after being issued a red card for rough play in a 5-2 win over visiting Oakdale in the opening round of the playoffs on Oct. 30.

"He admitted what he did was wrong," Leon said. "He apologized to me and his team. He'll learn from this."

Diego Duran had two goals and one assist versus Oakdale.

Ramos contributed pair of goals.

Juan Medrano added one goal.

Calvo dished out three assists.

Saucedo made four saves.

The Hawks outscored the Mustangs 4-0 in the opening half.

"Everybody was communicating," Leon said. "There's still so much room for improvement."

Central Valley will face top-seeded Manteca (19-2-3) in the quarterfinals at Guss Schmiedt Field today at 4 p.m.

The Buffaloes won the first meeting, 2-1, in Ceres.

"Right now, we're thinking about Manteca," Leon said. "They're very systematic. They play long ball and depend on cornerkicks and free kicks. It's going to be a very close game again."

Central Valley has been a model of consistency since 2007.

The Hawks have participated in the playoffs six times and placed first in league five times.

Central Valley lost in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV finals in 2010 and 2009.

The Hawks advanced to the semifinals last year.

"The kids are very motivated," Leon said while talking about his team's section-title aspirations. "They want it really bad. They've set the bar very high for themselves. The only way to improve that is to win it all."