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CV boys coach considers tie a loss
Hawks convert just 1 of 20 scoring chances
Hawk Adrian Espinoza wins a 50-50 challenge with Bulldog Jay Gomes. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's varsity boys soccer team had ample scoring chances against crosstown-rival Ceres High last week.

The Hawks converted just one of their 20 opportunities and reluctantly had to settle for a 1-1 tie with the visiting Bulldogs on Jan. 17 at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex.

"It's one of the most mediocre games we've played all season," Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said. "On a scale of 1-10, we played a level 2. We didn't have any leadership. Everybody was trying to impress their family and friends. I can't believe it."

The Hawks moved to 2-1-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Bulldogs moved to 0-2-2 in the WAC standings.

"We need to forget about this," Leon said. "We have two more games against them. We'll take today's game as a learning experience."

Isaac Juarez scored from 12 yards out as Central Valley grabbed a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.

Ceres High's Juan Chavez netted the equalizer in the final 10 minutes.

"We played on their side of the field for most of the game," Leon said. "We need to practice on finishing."

Central Valley may have underestimated Ceres High, which lost 9-1 to Pacheco on Jan. 12.

The Hawks and Panthers battled to a 1-1 draw.

"They weren't focused on the game," Leon said. "Half the team was late to warmups. I don't know where they went. They left the school the same time we did. That's why I'm frustrated. They were thinking it was going to be an easy game. Playing against your rivals, it's never an easy game. We talked about that. I'm very disappointed with the outcome. To me, it's a loss."

Central Valley standout midfielder Angel Lopez did not play against Ceres High. Lopez was assessed a red card against Patterson the previous game.
"He's one of our leaders," Leon said. "He's one of our captains. He's been playing varsity since he was a freshman. We weren't able to make as many plays in the middle and switch the attack. That's what Angel offers."

Ceres High edged out Central Valley for the WAC's third and final playoff berth last winter.

The Hawks participated in the postseason the previous eight years in a row. Central Valley also won six conference titles and advanced to the section finals four times.