Ceres High’s varsity boys soccer team won back-to-back games last week to advance to the semifinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.
The second-seeded Bulldogs improved to 18-1-4 on the year after topping No. 7 Golden Valley and No. 15 Oakdale.
Ceres High struggled to a 4-13-5 overall record last winter.
“I feel good about what we’ve done already. If we can go all the way, why not?”Coach Danny Barragan
“I feel good about what we’ve done already,” Bulldogs’ coach Danny Barragan said. “If we can go all the way, why not?”
Ceres High edged Golden Valley 4-3 on penalty kicks during their quarterfinal matchup on Thursday at Bulldog Stadium.
Hassiel Ruiz made the winning PK.
“He raised his hands to pump up the crowd, took the shot and made it,” Barragan said. “He wanted to go last. He’s confident. At practice, when he takes shots, he’s dead-on accurate.”
Julio Nunez, Luis Medina and Rafael Guzman also converted penalty kicks against the Cougars.
Bulldog goalkeeper Leo Trujillo blocked Golden Valley’s third PK attempt.
Ceres High and Golden Valley battled to a scoreless tie in regulation and two overtimes.
“It was a really intense game,” Barragan said. “At no point, did I feel nervous.”
Ceres High earned a hard-fought 2-0 win over Oakdale on Feb. 12 at Bulldog Stadium.
“You can’t underestimate anyone,” Barragan said. “We played Oakdale in the past. They always have a good team.”
Guzman scored once for the Bulldogs.
Ceres High grabbed a 1-0 lead on an own goal in the first half.
Ceres High will face third-seeded Sierra in the semifinals.
The Timberwolves topped No. 14 Beyer and No. 6 Christian Brothers by identical 2-1 scores in the playoffs.
Ceres High edged Beyer twice, 1-0 and 2-0, during Western Athletic Conference play.
The Bulldogs carry a 14-game unbeaten streak into the win-or-go home contest.
“It’s going to be like the last two games—intense,” Barragan said.