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CV boys soccer star Lopez signs with San Bernardino
Lopez developed into one of the top players in the WAC
Angel Lopez will continue his soccer career at Cal State San Bernardino. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Angel Lopez improved each season during his four-year career with Central Valley's varsity boys soccer program.

A role player as a freshman, Lopez developed into one of the top players in the Western Athletic Conference.

Angel will join the Cal State San Bernardino men's soccer program this fall.

He signed a national letter of intent with the Coyotes last month.

Lopez celebrated his achievement with family members and friends, coach Omar Leon, teammates, and classmates in the Central Valley gymnasium on May 23.

"Sitting there signing the letter is a moment I'll never forget," Angel said. "It's something I've been working for my whole life. My dream became a reality. Without my parents, I wouldn't be where I'm at today. They took me to practice, games and tournaments. I can't thank coach Leon enough. He's an incredible guy. He took me under his wing as a freshman and built me as a player."

San Bernardino recruited Lopez after watching him play for the Ceres-based Milan Forza 18-and-under club team during a showcase in Las Vegas.

Angel visited the campus in December.

"The environment was great," he said. "Everyone was friendly."

The Coyotes compiled a 10-6-1 overall record and placed fifth in the CCAA standings (7-4-1) this past season.

San Bernardino advanced to the semifinals of the CCAA Tournament.

"The plan is to start," said Lopez, who will vie for playing time at center midfielder. "I'm ready for the challenge. I'm going to have to work for it."

Angel's teams at Central Valley amassed a 70-24-13 overall record, advanced to the section finals twice, claimed one conference title and qualified for the playoffs three times.

"I'm happy with what we did," he said. "I enjoyed being with my teammates every single day. We worked hard for everything. We created a bunch of memories together."

Lopez and the fifth-seeded Hawks upset No. 1 East Union and No. 4 Rio Americano on their way to advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III title game this past season.

Central Valley finished 20-7-3 on the year and placed third in the Western Athletic Conference standings (9-4-2).

Angel was selected to the WAC First Team.

He ranked sixth in the conference in both goals scored (8) and assists (6).

Lopez earned second-team all-league honors as a sophomore.

He collected five goals and two assists.

A standout kicker in football, Angel was named the WAC's Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2016. He led the conference in kick scoring (20), point-after-touchdown kicks (20), touchbacks (13) and field goals made (four). Lopez booted field goals of 47, 41, 30 and 28 yards.

"I got a couple of offers to play football at community colleges," Lopez said. "I wanted to keep playing soccer. It just brings joy to me playing the game I love. Once that whistle blows, you have to put that serious face on and go to work. It brings more competitiveness out of you."