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Christian Brothers eliminates CV from postseason tournament
Hawks place in top 4 at D-III playoff tourney
Giovanni Avalos (22) and the Hawks won two of three games en route to a top-four finish in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoff bracket. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

A year ago at this time, the Christian Brothers High School varsity boys soccer team upset top-seeded Central Valley 3-2 for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III crown.

The Hawks and Falcons faced off in the semi-final round of the playoffs last week.

Vying for revenge, fourth-seeded Central Valley lost 4-0 to No. 1 Christian Brothers on Wednesday in Sacramento.

"I'm still trying to digest this," Hawks head coach Omar Leon said. "We knew it was going to be challenging. They're a lethal team. We didn't do what we were supposed to do. We didn't play our style. There was a lot of individual play. I know we could have done better. I take responsibility for it (the loss). I feel really bad for the players that gave 150 percent."

Ranked 13th in the nation, the Falcons improved to 17-1-4 on the year and earned the right to play third-seeded Oakdale in the finals.

Central Valley collected 16 wins, two losses and eight ties this season.

"The kids knew the expectations," Leon said. "We finished among the top four teams in the section. We didn't have a bad season. I'm pleased with the overall performance of the team."

Ramon Ruiz, Central Valley's starting goalkeeper, did not play against Christian Brothers.

He re-aggravated a left knee injury during the previous week's 1-0 win over fifth-seeded Pioneer in the quarterfinals.

Backup Adrian Calvo totaled seven saves.

The Hawks had 26 shots on goal versus Christian Brothers.

Down 1-0, Central Valley surrendered three goals in the second half.

"We had so many scoring opportunities," Leon said. "We didn't finish. That was our problem the entire season."

The Hawks managed to make a deep run in the playoffs this year despite competing with a lineup hit hard by graduation.

Central Valley secured its eighth-straight playoff berth.

The Hawks extended their unbeaten streak in WAC play to 28 matches.

Central Valley also set a program record for shutouts in a season with 10.

The Hawks failed to annex their seventh consecutive conference championship. The Hawks had to settle for runner-up honors after accumulating seven wins, no losses and five ties.

The Hawks finished ahead of 12 other teams in the Division-III playoff tournament.

Central Valley fell one victory shy of advancing to its fifth section-title game.

The Hawks placed second in 2013, 2012, 2010 and 2009.

"It should," Leon said when asked if Central Valley would extend its postseason appearance streak in 2015. "That's our expectation."

Juan Martinez, Custodio Vasquez, Jesus Mendoza, Victor Yepez, Jorge Bustos and Gerardo Enriquez will be lost to graduation.

"Every year you get to know the players," Leon said. "You create a little family. We had a lot of fun at practice and during games. We only lost two games this year. Unfortunately, we didn't find the balance we needed. Our defense was consistent. Our offense wasn't. We still had a very positive season."