Central Valley’s boys soccer team managed to place third in the Western Athletic Conference South Division standings during the 2020-21 academic year despite competing shorthanded for parts of the season.
The Hawks used multiple starting lineups as their roster size changed for various reasons.
Players were held out of games for failing to show up to practice.
Players also missed contests with excused and unexcused absences.
“Overall, I’m happy with the effort of the players that were constantly there,” new head coach Horatio Garcia said. “They played their hearts out.”
The Hawks compiled a 4-5-1 record (13 points) in league play.
The WAC was split into South and North Divisions this season for COVID-safety reasons and to limit travel for competitions.
Central Valley competed against Ceres High, Johansen, Los Banos and Pacheco.
Crosstown-rival Ceres High (8-1-1, 25 points) won the conference title.
Pacheco (7-2-1, 22 points), Johansen (3-6-1, 10 points) and Los Banos (2-6-1, seven points) finished second, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Playoffs were eliminated for all sports during the 2020-21 school year due to a late start to the season because of COVID.
“The school has high expectations for this sport,” Garcia said. “We fell short. I think we could have been more competitive in some of the games. Hopefully, we can flip this around and have a better season next year.”
Central Valley dropped its season finale, 3-1 loss, at Pacheco on May 26.
The two teams battled to a 0-0 tie in the opening half.
Fernando Cano accounted for the Hawks’ lone goal.
Carlos Loza assisted.
“It was a completely different game,” said Garcia, whose team lost 6-2 to Pacheco on May 7 in Ceres. “We just got tired in the second half playing shorthanded. We only had three players on the bench.”
Team captain/defensive center midfielder Alejandro Gonzalez missed the game because he had to work.
“We could have really used him,” Garcia said. “He could have made a difference. He’s a key player. He has the most experience on the team.”
The Hawks lose five players to graduation, including Gonzalez, Abraham Aguayo, Agustin Pizza, Francisco Ramos and Mariano Silva.
Cano, Central Valley’s leading scorer, will return to the team next season.