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A big turnaround for Ceres
• CHS boys soccer team now unbeaten in 11 games
Gustavo Hernandez and Ceres High’s varsity boys soccer team bested the Beyer Patriots 2-1 and tied the Johansen Vikings 0-0 in Western Athletic Conference play this past week. The Bulldogs improved to 13-1-3 overall and remained in a first-place tie in the WAC standings (8-0-2) with the Vikings. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High’s varsity boys soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games last week.

The Bulldogs have yet to taste defeat in league play.

“We’ve worked hard,” coach Danny Barragan said.

Ceres High moved to 13-1-3 overall and remained in a first-place tie atop the Western Athletic Conference standings after battling to a scoreless draw with Johansen on Friday at Bulldog Stadium.

The Bulldogs and Vikings (11-1-4) have identical 8-0-2 records in WAC play.

“It was a tough game. I was expecting it to be competitive. We tied 1-1 the first time we played.”
Coach Danny Barragan

“It was a tough game,” he said. “I was expecting it to be competitive. We tied 1-1 the first time we played.”

“We have different styles,” Barragan added. “Physically, they’re very aggressive. Their tactic is to get you heated. They tried to get into our heads and we responded by playing our game. We touched the ball and created good plays.”

Bulldog goalkeeper Leo Trujillo, who totaled nine blocks, made a kick-save on a penalty kick in the first half.

“I had a feeling he was going to stop it but not like that,” Barragan said. 

Ceres High scored two unanswered goals during its 2-1 win over Beyer on Jan. 23 at Bulldog Stadium.

Bulldog Hugo Mercado tallied the winning goal against the third-place Patriots (8-7-1, 5-4-0).

He scored from close-range in the 58th minute.

Ceres High evened the score in the 20th minute when Victor Hurtado drove Andres Madriz’s corner kick into the back of the net with a bicycle kick.

“That’s the most impressive goal I’ve seen,” Barragan said. “He hit it right where it was supposed to go.”

The Bulldogs fell behind 1-0 in the opening 10 minutes.

“They came out really strong,” Barragan said. “I wasn’t concerned because there was still a lot of time left. I knew the game could change.”

Trujillo had seven saves.

The Bulldogs edged the Patriots 1-0 on Dec. 14 in Modesto. 

Ceres High has four games remaining on its schedule.

The Bulldogs will face Pacheco today and Los Banos on Friday.

Ceres High’s final two opponents are Mountain House and Grace Davis.

“To be able to win the WAC title would mean a lot,” Barragan said. 

The Bulldogs struggled to a 4-13-5 overall record and finished in fifth place in the WAC (2-5-3) during the 2017-18 campaign.

“It’s a pleasure to coach this group of kids,” Barragan said. “They have good attitudes. They’re coachable. They’re disciplined. I’m more relaxed this year because they know what they have to do.”