Unbeaten through its first 14 games, Ceres High’s varsity girls soccer team continued its run of excellence this past week.
The Bulldogs notched victories against Los Banos and Pacheco.
First-place Ceres High moved to 15-0-1 overall and 11-0-1 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Bulldogs held a three-point lead over second-place Beyer in the WAC standings as of Sunday.
Barring a major collapse, Ceres High should win its second league title in program history this week.
“The results are showing we’re doing things right,” Bulldogs’ first-year head coach Danny Barragan said.
Ceres High topped Los Banos 14-1 on Senior Night at Bulldog Stadium on Feb. 3.
Miranda Larranaga and Jackie Ruiz led the the Bulldogs with four goals and two assists apiece.
Siriana Gudino had three goals and one assist.
Kalyani Hermosillo had two goals and one assist.
Arianah Martinez had one goal and two assists.
Janessa Prado had two assists.
Aaliyah Ruiz had one assist.
Gudino and Layla Sandoval split playing time at goalkeeper.
Sandoval made two saves.
Gudino had one save.
“I’m happy with how they played,” Barragan said.
Ceres High shut out Pacheco 8-0 on Feb. 5 in Los Banos.
Freshman Kristina Corbin led the Bulldogs with three goals.
Larranaga and Jackie Ruiz both had two goals and one assist.
Aaliyah Ruiz contributed one goal.
“Everyone played these last two games,” Barragan said.
Ceres High’s final two conference opponents are Mountain House and Grace Davis.
The Bulldogs beat the two teams by a combined score of 18-1 earlier this season.
“The best thing about this team is the bond the girls have,” Barragan said. “I keep reminding how we need to keep playing well to prepare for playoffs and to not get overconfident.”
CV girls tie, lose
Eliminated from playoff contention several weeks earlier, Central Valley’s varsity girls soccer team battled to a 1-1 tie with third-place Buhach Colony on Feb. 6 in Atwater.
The Thunder erased a two-goal deficit on their way to pulling away for a 4-2 win over the Hawks on Jan. 14 in Ceres.
“Just because we don’t have a chance at playoffs doesn’t mean we can slack,” senior striker Citlaly Salinas said. “We have to finish strong.”
Salinas scored her 23rd goal of the season for the Hawks, who dropped to 6-11-3 overall and 2-6-3 in the Central California Conference standings.
Citlaly starred on defense the previous three years.
“I’ve never played the position before,” she aid. “He (coach Miguel Larranaga) put me there for a reason. He believes in me. I just want to make him and my team proud. That motivates me.”
Salinas broke a scoreless tie versus Buhach Colony midway through the second half.
The Hawks almost pulled off the upset.
“It all started with our defense,” Salinas said. “They were really strong. And we scored first. That took some pressure off. We were more confident in ourselves.”
Central Valley lost 2-0 to second-place Golden Valley on Feb. 4 in Ceres.
“The first time we played them, we tied 0-0,” Salinas said. “I thought we were going to tie again or win.”
The Hawks challenged the Cougars in the opening half.
The Cougars took control by scoring twice during the final 40 minutes of play.
“The second half is always our worst half if we don’t score first,” Salinas said.
The Hawks will wrap up their conference schedule this week.
Central Valley will play first-place El Capitan on Senior Night in Ceres.
“We’re still going to play hard even though we have no chance at playoffs,” Salinas said. “I’m going to leave my heart on the field because it’s my last game.”