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Battle for first place ends in tie
Ceres High’s Saul Ruiz (white jersey) and a Johansen player battle for possession. The Bulldogs and host Vikings tied 1-1 in WAC play on Dec. 19. - photo by Dale Butler

Unbeaten in Western Athletic Conference play, Ceres High’s and Johansen’s varsity boys soccer teams battled for first place last week.

The Bulldogs and Vikings remained atop the WAC standings after battling to a 1-1 tie on Dec. 19 at Dan Gonsalves Stadium.

“We should have won,” Ceres High coach Danny Barragan said. “We touched the ball better. We had more scoring chances. We had two goals taken away.”

Ceres High improved to 6-1-2 overall and 2-0-1 in conference play.

Johansen moved 5-0-3 and 3-0-1.

“I feel good about where we’re at. I like to be humble and not say a lot. But this team has the skill to make it far.”
Coach Danny Barragan

“I feel good about where we’re at,” Barragan stated. “I like to be humble and not say a lot. But this team has the skill to make it far. This team has a lot of potential.”

Defender Saul Ruiz scored for the Bulldogs.

Ceres High goalkeeper Leo Trujillo made eight saves.

Ruiz and fellow defenders Ivan Arita, Victor Hurtado, Julio Nunez and Gustavo Hernandez helped limit the Vikings to just one goal.

Johansen scored its goal off a Ceres High defensive error in the 72nd minute.

The Bulldogs tallied the equalizer in the 74th minute as Ruiz headed in a cornerkick.

Ceres High had two goals disallowed in the second half on foul calls.

“This is only the third time we’ve been down this season,” Barragan said. “I stayed calm. I had confidence in my team. This group keeps their head in the game. They don’t panic.”

Ceres High has already doubled its win total from a season ago.

The Bulldogs won just four games in 2017-18.

“We have a lot of skilled players,” Barragan said. “We have a lot more chemistry. Compared to other years, this is a very, disciplined group. We still have a lot of games to go. We can only get better.”