Ceres High's varsity boys soccer team elevated its level of play during its Western Athletic Conference clash with Pacheco last week.
The Bulldogs tied the reigning WAC-champion Panthers 1-1 on Thursday in Los Banos.
Ceres High bounced back after being humiliated 6-0 by Livingston two days earlier.
"I had a very serious conversion with my team after Wednesday's loss," head coach Danny Barragan said. "After the talk, they practiced with a different attitude. They were more serious. It (tying Pacheco) gives the kids a lot of confidence."
The Bulldogs improved to 2-11-3 overall and 0-3-1 in the conference standings.
The Panthers dropped to 6-0-5 and 1-0-3.
"The potential is there," Barragan said. "It's just a matter of making it work."
"Obviously, Pacheco has a good team," Barragan said. "It's not a surprise we tied. The potential is there. It's just a matter of making it work."
Ceres High and Pacheco battled to a 1-1 tie in the opening half.
"The communication was there from the beginning," Barragan said.
The Bulldogs scored first.
Christian Martinez converted a penalty kick after Ceres High teammate Jay Gomes drew a foul in the box.
"Christian's a solid player," Barragan said. "He's a confident kid."
The Bulldogs managed to tie the Panthers despite competing with a revamped lineup.
Alexis Nava, Gustavo Hernandez and Daniel Manzo, three defensive starters, were sidelined for various reasons.
Rafael Guzman, Ivan Arita, Saul Ruiz and Bryan Silva helped limit the Panthers to just one goal.
"He (Guzman) asked to play defense," Barragan said. "He made a huge difference. He did a great job."
Ceres High lost by shutout to host Livingston on Jan. 16.
"We couldn't control the ball," Barragan said. "We were giving it away. We weren't marking on defense. We were giving them too much space."
The Bulldogs will compete against the crosstown-rival Central Valley Hawks on the road this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.