Ceres High’s girls soccer team ended the 2020-21 season on a positive note.
The Bulldogs cruised to a 9-1 win against host Los Banos on May 26.
“I’m proud of everything we accomplished,” said Jackie Ruiz, who contributed at goalkeeper and forward during her final season at Ceres High. “I think we did a pretty good job from where we started. It was basically a brand-new team. We only had five returning starters.”
The Bulldogs compiled a 7-1-1 record and finished in second place in the Western Athletic Conference South Division under new head coach Hannah Menk’s guidance.
“Given the circumstances and all the injuries and absences of all the players, we did really well,” Menk said. “We had a lot of skilled players. Adding my knowledge and different techniques helped out.”
Crosstown-rival Central Valley (7-1-2) took first in the league standings.
The Hawks edged the Bulldogs by just one point for the conference title.
Ceres High played one fewer league game this year due to COVID protocols.
“If we played the one extra game, we would have finished in first place. It’s kind of sad we got robbed of the opportunity.”Coach Hannah Menk
“If we played the one extra game, we would have finished in first place,” Menk said. “It’s kind of sad we got robbed of the opportunity.”
Added Ruiz: “It’s unfortunate we didn’t get first. We only lost one game.”
Seven different players scored for the Bulldogs during their season finale.
“I was expecting that performance even being down a player,” Menk said.
Freshmen Cylee Cowell and Kaylee Rodriguez each had two goals.
Layla Sandoval, Aaliyah Ruiz, Jennifer Duran, Vanessa Zamora and Abigayil Prado all had one goal
Jackie Ruiz, Aaliyah’s twin sister, missed the contest due to injury.
Ruiz, who watched from the sidelines, tore her ACL in her right knee the previous weekend while playing club soccer.
Ceres High will lose five players to graduation, including Jennifer Duran, Layla Sandoval, Vanessa Zamora, Aaliyah Ruiz and Jackie Ruiz.
Jennifer, Layla, Vanessa, Jackie and Aaliyah were honored during their final home game against Pacheco on May 21. The Bulldogs won the contest, 7-0.
Ceres High plans to continue its winning ways next season.
“We’ll have to work really hard and develop the underclassmen,” Menk said. “We do have some good talent.”