The Central California Conference’s top two varsity girls soccer teams battled to a draw for the second time this season last week.
Central Valley tied host El Capitan 1-1 on Thursday in Merced.
The Hawks erased a two-goal deficit versus the Gauchos during the first meeting, which ended in a 3-3 stalemate.
Central Valley (16-6-2, 10-0-2) and El Capitan (9-4-3, 8-2-2) placed first and second, respectively, in the CCC standings. “We went into the game knowing we were the champs already,” Hawks’ coach Miguel Larranaga said. “We still wanted to win. A tie isn’t too bad. We had no losses in league.”
Yaira Contreras tallied Central Valley’s lone goal.
Jocelyn Lopez assisted.
Hawk goalie Lilliana Cruz made five saves.
“It was a pretty even match,” Larranaga said. “Both goalies did an amazing job.”
Central Valley continued its tradition of excellence this winter.
The Hawks earned their fifth consecutive playoff berth.
Central Valley also won its fourth straight conference title—including its first in the CCC. The Hawks placed first in the Western Athletic Conference the previous three years.
“I’m very happy for the girls. We went undefeated in league. This was their toughest year because of the level of play of the other teams.”Coach Miguel Larranaga
“I’m very happy for the girls,” Larranaga said. “We went undefeated in league. This was their toughest year because of the level of play of the other teams.”
Sixth-seeded Central Valley will play No. 11 Bear Creek in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs today at 6 p.m. The contest has been moved to Patterson Community Stadium due to a weather advisory.
“It’s fair where we got seeded,” Larranaga said. “But it doesn’t really matter what your seed is. If you want to win it all, you have to beat everybody.”
Central Valley lost 1-0 to Woodland in the Division-III championship game last season. “Our first step is to win this first game,” Larranaga said. “The girls are excited. They’re ready for this. They’re going to have to play hard to earn the win. You’re playing the best teams in playoffs. Every game is going to be hard.”