Ceres High varsity boys soccer head coach Miguel Saldate refuses to lower his expectations.
The Bulldogs won one of two games and moved to 2-2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference standings this past week.
Ceres High trailed Patterson (4-0-0, 12 points), Central Valley (2-0-1, seven points) and Livingston (2-0-1, seven points) in the WAC standings as of Monday morning.
The top three teams in the conference qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs following regular-season play.
"Our league is very competitive," Saldate said.
Ceres High pulled away for a 4-1 win over newcomer El Capitan on Wednesday at Bulldog Stadium.
"The first half was competitive," said Saldate, whose team battled to a 0-0 tie with the Gauchos. "We were having difficulties getting the ball inside the box. Once we scored the first goal, we were good."
Cristopher Torres scored his fourth, fifth and sixth goals of the season in WAC action for the Bulldogs.
Adrian Covarrubias collected one goal and one assist.
Juan Jimenez and Miguel Ortega both tallied one assist.
Martin Reyes had seven saves at goalkeeper against El Capitan (0-4-0).
The Gauchos challenged the Bulldogs in the opening half.
"I was concerned," Saldate said. "El Capitan was playing pretty good."
Livingston defeated Ceres High 4-0 on Sept. 22 at Bulldog Stadium.
"They're good, but we played awful," Saldate said. "We had chances to score but didn't finish."
Reyes totaled five saves in defeat.
The Wolves had four different players score goals, including Cesar Balderas, Luis Cervantes, Marcos Valencia and Joshua Martinez.
Ceres High faced a 2-0 deficit at the break.
"Once they scored on us, everybody put their heads down," Saldate said. "We kept making mistake after mistake."
The Bulldogs (7-3-0) are trying to secure their seventh straight postseason berth. "I already talked to the boys," Saldate said. "We need to win the rest of our games and see what the other teams do. I'll be very disappointed if we don't make playoffs. We have a good team. We just got to score."