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CV defenders rewarded
Torres leads WAC in goals, assists
Ceres Highs Cristopher Torres and Central Valleys Angel Lopez (8) earned all-league honors. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team had the second-best defense in the Western Athletic Conference, allowing just 14 goals.

Led by Jesus Mendoza, Custodio Vasquez and Victor Yepez, the Hawks posted three shutouts and allowed just one goal in five other games while finishing in second place in the WAC standings (7-0-5).

"That's the reason we got as far as we got," Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said. "We had a very good defense."

Mendoza, Vasquez, Victor Yepez, Angel Aguilar and Angel Lopez, and Ceres High's Cristopher Torres and Jose Benitez were recognized in a vote by the conference's head coaches on Nov. 3 in Hilmar.

Mendoza, Vasquez, Torres and Benitez were all named to the WAC First Team.

Jesus (Sr.) and Custodio (Sr.) anchored Central Valley's defense.

Jesus had two goals and one assist.

Custodio had one goal and one assist.

"That's why I nominated them," Leon said.

Torres, a four-year starter, led the WAC in goals (12) and assists (6) this season. The senior striker totaled a league-leading 30 points.

"He would have been MVP if our team did better," Ceres High head coach Miguel Saldate said. "He's a very talented kid."

Benitez (Sr.) collected one goal while contributing as a midfielder.

Yepez (Sr.), Aguilar (Jr.) and Lopez (So.) received second-team all-conference accolades.

Victor had one assist.

Aguilar, Central Valley's top striker, tallied six goals and two assists.

Lopez, a center midfielder, chipped in with five goals and two assists.

"He (Lopez) plays competitive soccer year-round," Leon said. "He goes to the best tournaments in the state and nation. He's committed."

Central Valley, which accumulated seven wins, no losses and five ties, placed second in the WAC standings.

Fourth-place Ceres High posted a 6-3-3 record.