Ceres High’s varsity boys soccer program secured the Western Athletic Conference’s third playoff berth last week.
The Bulldogs struggled during the first half of the season.
“I never lost confidence,” new coach Gilbert Zamora said. “The difference was they started to communicate and play as a team.”
Ceres High shut out visiting Grace Davis, 3-0, on Senior Night last Wednesday.
Antonio Medina, Andres Madriz and Julio Nunez all contributed one goal.
Emilio Padilla and Luis Yepez both had one assist.
Host Ceres High bested Mountain House 5-2 on Feb. 10.
Medina tallied three goals.
Padilla and Daniel Carranza each had one goal.
Edgar Cervantes had one assist.
The Bulldogs improved to 10-6-4 on the season.
Ceres High collected eight wins, two losses and four ties against WAC competition.
Pacheco (12-2-0) won the league title.
Johansen (11-1-2), Los Banos (7-5-2), Beyer (4-8-2), Lathrop (4-9-1), Grace Davis (2-10-2), Mountain House (1-12-1) finished second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
“We’re playing better soccer than we started. You can see our scores and stats.”Coach Gilbert Zamora
“We’re playing better soccer than we started,” Zamora said. “You can see our scores and stats.”
Medina has been a major contributor since returning to Ceres High’s lineup.
The sophomore attacking midfielder missed a handful of games after having nose surgery to improve his breathing.
“Medina’s been a big help,” Zamora said. “He’s a really good player. He loves the sport. When he’s scoring, it makes everybody’s job easier.”
The Bulldogs won six of their final seven league games.
Ceres High’s lone loss was to first-place Pacheco, which held on for a 3-2 victory.
“We had a rough start,” Zamora said. “We got tested. That (beating Johansen, Los Banos and Beyer) gave us a lot of confidence.”
The Bulldogs secured their second straight playoff berth after winning a combined eight games during from 2016-18.
Ceres High compiled a program-best 20-2-4 overall record and claimed the Division-III crown last season.
“We believe we can get as far as last year,” Zamora said. “Teams better not underestimate us or it will hurt them.”
CV girls drop season finale
Upperclassmen Citlaly Salinas, Anusha Kumar, Yaira Contreras, Jasmine Magana, Vivian Reyes and D’vette Farias suited up for Central Valley’s varsity girls soccer team for the final time this past week in Ceres.
The Hawks closed out the 2019-20 regular season on Feb. 11 with a 10-1 loss to first-place El Capitan on Senior Night.
Salinas, Kumar, Contreras, Magana, Reyes and Farias garnered special recognition before the game.
“I’m losing a lot of talent,” head coach Miguel Larranaga said. “Next year is going to be a challenge again.”
Central Valley posted a 6-12-3 overall record and placed fifth overall in the Central California Conference standings (2-7-3).
“I’m disappointed with myself,” Larranaga said “I’m in charge. I tell the girls how to play. It just didn’t work this year.”
Central Valley challenged El Capitan in the early going.
Citlaly Salinas gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game.
The Gauchos responded with 10 unanswered goals.
Central Valley trailed 5-1 at intermission.
“I thought we were going to surprise them,” Larranaga said. “They came back strong. It turned into a one-sided game.”
Central Valley had its consecutive streaks of appearing in the playoffs and winning league titles snapped at five and four seasons, respectively, this year.