Ceres High’s varsity girls soccer team enjoyed its best season to date this winter under new head coach Danny Barragan’s leadership.
The Bulldogs amassed an 18-1-1 overall record, claimed the Western Athletic Conference championship with a 13-0-1 mark and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.
“It wasn’t a surprise we did so well,” junior forward Jackie Ruiz said. “We had a lot of returning players. We worked really hard. Everyone showed up to practice. We had a good bond. That’s why we accomplished so much.”
Fifth-seeded Ceres High topped No. 12 Merced 4-0 in the opening round on Feb. 19 at CUSD Stadium.
“Our team was so dominant because everyone was communicating well."Jackie Ruiz
“Our team was so dominant because everyone was communicating well,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz accounted for all four of the Bulldogs’ goals.
She scored 53 times this season.
“I’ve never scored in a playoff game,” Ruiz said. “To be able to score four is pretty cool. My teammates set me up a lot.”
Ceres High lost 5-0 to fourth-seeded Christian Brothers on Friday at Sacramento City College.
The Bulldogs never recovered after falling behind 2-0 in the opening half.
“The difference was they were faster than us,” Ruiz said. “We could have done better if we passed the ball around more.”
Ceres High’s girls program will vie for additional success next season with a revamped lineup.
Miranda Larranaga, Siriana Gudino, Kalyani Hermosillo, Arianah Martinez, Ariana Medina and Ashley Mercado will be lost to graduation.
“We had a great season,” Ruiz said. “Next year, we can do even better. We just have to have the right mindset. Everyone needs to have confidence in themselves and believe in themselves. We can’t let the seniors leaving bring us down.”