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Bulldogs cruise
JV Hawks win twice
Central Valleys Damian Soltero, jumping in the air, celebrates after scoring a goal against Turlock. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Nicolas Martinez logged playing time at forward and midfielder during his junior year with Ceres High School's varsity boys soccer team.

Martinez's contributing at a different position this season-goalkeeper.

Nicolas made eight saves in the Bulldogs' 7-1 preseason finale victory over the Beyer Patriots on Thursday in Modesto.

"He's done a really good job this year," Ceres High head coach Javier Mercado said. "He communicates well with the defense. He'll get more comfortable once we start playing more games."

Tomas Rocha collected three goals and one assist for the Bulldogs.

Cris Torres scored twice.

Miguel Ortega and Cesar Espinoza both tallied one goal.

Joel Bhatti had one assist.

Ceres High built a commanding 3-0 lead in the opening half against Beyer.

Martinez stopped a penalty kick in the second half.

"We feel comfortable with Nico back there," Mercado said. "He has a lot of confidence in himself."

The Bulldogs compiled a 4-2-0 record during the preseason.

The top three teams in the Western Athletic Conference advance to the playoffs. Ceres High will be vying for its fifth straight postseason berth.

"Our communication is a lot better this year," Mercado said. "We have more speed. We have depth. The team chemistry is really good. We'll be in the mix for a playoff berth unless something drastic happens."

Ceres High will play host to Livingston on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The WAC contest will be staged at Bulldog Stadium.

Central Valley
Central Valley High School's junior-varsity boys soccer team bested all challengers during the preseason.

The Hawks collected their eighth and ninth victories last week.

Visiting Central Valley defeated Turlock 3-0 on Thursday at Joe Debely Stadium.

Michael Vazquez, Damian Soltero and Jesus Gudino all scored one goal for the Hawks.

Angel Aguilar, Jesus Lopez and Jaime Lua assisted.

Central Valley shut out Enochs 9-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 10 in Ceres.