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Bulldogs conclude soccer season
CHS boys take fifth in league
Hector Valdez and Ceres Highs varsity boys soccer team tied playoff-bound Pacheco and Livingston during the final week of the Western Athletic Conference season. The Bulldogs placed fifth in the WAC standings this winter. - photo by Courier file photo

The ultra-competitive Western Athletic Conference will send four of its six varsity boys soccer teams to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, excluding Ceres High and Los Banos.

The Bulldogs lost three games by a goal on their way to finishing in fifth place in the WAC standings.

Ceres High closed out the WAC season with ties against playoff-bound Pacheco and Livingston.

"I wish they would have played this good the whole season," Bulldogs' head coach Danny Barragan said. "It's the best they've played all year."

Fifth-place Ceres High battled to a 1-1 draw versus first-place Pacheco on Senior Night at Bulldog Stadium on Feb. 8.

Upperclassmen Juan Chavez, Jay Gomes, Juan Hernandez, Alex Lopez, Freddi Lopez, Christian Martinez, Alexis Nava Bryan Silva and Hector Valdez suited up for the Bulldogs for the final time.

Ceres High's nine seniors started and played most of the game.

"They all had talent," Barragan said.

Martinez tallied the Bulldogs' lone goal.

Freddi Lopez totaled seven saves at goalkeeper.

Ceres High and 2017 WAC-champion Pacheco both scored one goal during their first meeting on Jan. 18.

"It was dead-even both games," Barragan said.

Host Ceres High tied second-place Livingston 1-1 on Feb. 6.

Pablo Duran scored off a pass from Saul Ruiz.

Freddi Lopez made five saves.

The Bulldogs earned a measure of redemption against the Wolves.

"I'm not surprised," said Barragan, whose team lost 6-0 at Livingston earlier this season. "That's the potential I knew they had. They played hard. Every ball in the air, we were fighting for it."

The Bulldogs amassed a 4-13-5 overall record and tallied two wins, five losses and three ties in conference play this winter.

"Obviously, we would have liked to have gone to playoffs," Barragan said. "I can't complain with the way they finished. They played to their potential. I don't understand why they waited this long."

Ceres High lost 3-2 and 2-1 to Patterson and 2-1 to Central Valley during the WAC season.

Pacheco, Livingston, Central Valley and Patterson will represent the WAC in the playoffs this week.

"I don't feel like they're any better than we are," Barragan said.