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CHS boys soccer first in Turlock
Bulldogs compile 3-0-1 record in Group B
Max Lopez (top right) and Ceres Highs varsity boys soccer team earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Hilmar at the Pitman Pride Cup on Friday in Turlock. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity boys soccer team fell short of its goal last fall.

The Bulldogs failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

New-look Ceres High enjoyed a positive start to the 2015 season this past week.

The Bulldogs brought home a first-place trophy from the Pitman Pride Cup, a 30-team tournament staged Aug. 28-29, at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex.

"It was a little surprising," Ceres High head coach Miguel Saldate said. "We lost the majority of our starters from last year to graduation. The kids stepped up. They played great together."

Ceres High amassed a near-perfect 3-0-1 record in Group B.

"The kids understand what we want them to do," Saldate said. "If there's no communication or team work, you're not going to be successful. It doesn't matter how much individual talent you have. That's what we've been working with them on. Every time we play, whether it's a scrimmage or a tournament, we want to win."

Ulises Diaz scored twice during Ceres High's 5-2 win over Lincoln Saturday afternoon.

Brandon Garcia, Max Lopez and Miguel Bozoco all contributed one goal.

Christian Garcia had one assist.

Goalkeeper Martin Reyes made two saves.

Ceres High and Linden battled to a 1-1 tie Saturday morning.

Garcia accounted for the Bulldogs' lone goal.

Reyes had eight saves.

Reyes totaled 10 saves in Friday's 1-0 victory over Hilmar.

Diaz scored for Ceres High.

The Bulldogs won their tournament opener, 3-1, versus Buhach Colony.

Garcia, Lopez and Juan Castillo chipped in with one goal each.

Reyes tallied seven blocks.

"Our goal was to play well every game," Saldate said. "We accomplished our objective. It gives the kids confidence and motivation."

Ceres High finished in second place in Group B at the Pitman tournament in 2014.