Ceres High’s varsity girls soccer program has experienced sustained success since coach Miguel Saldate’s hiring in 2015.
Saldate has led the Bulldogs to 45 wins, one conference title and playoff appearances every season during his four-year tenure.
The 2018-19 Bulldogs will vie for their fifth consecutive postseason berth.
Ceres High has yet to win a playoff game under Saldate’s guidance.
The Bulldogs lost 2-0 to Ponderosa in the first round of the Division-III bracket last year.
“Coaching any soccer team, that’s the goal,” said Saldate, co-Head Coach of the Year for the WAC in 2017-18. “To have your team finish high (in the standings) and make playoffs. We try to push the girls so they can be more competitive.”
Ceres High’s top returning players are Mariah Trevino (Sr.), Siriana Gudino (Jr.), Jacqueline Ruiz (So.) and Miranda Larranga (Jr.) and Kalyani Hermosillo (Jr.).
Trevino was named WAC Defender of the Year last season.
She anchored Ceres High’s defense, which posted five shutouts and twice allowed just one goal.
She was the Bulldogs’ most versatile player.
Trevino’s main position was defender but she also contributed at midfielder and forward.
She scored eight goals.
Gudino, Ruiz and Larranga all earned first-team all-league honors a year ago.
Gudino totaled 13 saves in Ceres High’s 1-0 win over three-time WAC-champion Central Valley.
Ruiz, a forward, tallied six goals and two assists.
Larranaga, a midfielder, collected five goals.
Hermosillo was selected to the WAC Second Team.
She contributed at midfielder during her first season with the Bulldogs.
Ceres High’s top newcomers are Brianna Bazoco (Sr.), Jennifer Duran (Jr.), Adela Covarrubias (Fr.) and Daisy Duran (Fr.)
“We do have experience. That’s going to help us quite a bit.”Coach Miguel Saldate
“We do have experience,” Saldate said. “That’s going to help us quite a bit.”
Ceres High posted an 11-3-4 overall record and finished in second place in the WAC standings (7-1-2) last season.
The Bulldogs are looking forward to seeing different competition.
“I think it’s going to be good for us,” Saldate said.
Three-time WAC champion Central Valley and Patterson moved to the Central California Conference as part of the section’s league realignment. Livingston joined the Trans Valley League.
Ceres High, Los Banos and Pacheco remained in the WAC.
Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Lathrop and Mountain House are newcomers.
Beyer, Grace Davis and Johansen are former members of the Modesto Metro Conference.
Lathrop and Mountain House previously competed in the Valley Oak League and TVL.
“We should do well again,” Saldate said. “If we finish first or second, that would be great. We have the talent to do it. We just have to stay healthy.”