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CV girls keep soccer playoff hopes alive
• Ceres High girls secure second straight postseason berth
Giulia Puonzo
Giulia Puonzo (19) and Ceres High’s playoff-bound girls soccer team collected one win and one loss in Western Athletic Conference play last week. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley’s girls soccer team remained in the hunt for a playoff berth this past week.

The fifth-place Hawks (10-8-1, 4-5-0) secured one win, one loss and one tie.

The top three teams in the Central California Conference will be awarded playoff berths at the end of the regular season.

“We have a chance to get into playoffs,” said Coach Miguel Larranaga. “It’s still our goal. We have to win our next three games and hope El Capitan loses a game.”

Central Valley edged sixth-place Merced 1-0 on Jan. 30 in Ceres.

Viviana Flores scored on a free kick in the opening half.

“It was very competitive,” Larranaga said. “Our defense did a great job.”

Visiting Central Valley edged last-place Atwater 2-1 on Feb. 1.

Aaliyah Jauregui and Daniela Rodriguez both scored once.

Flores and Niome McMurray contributed one assist apiece.

Jauregui tallied the eventual, winning goal with five minutes remaining in the game.

She headed McMurray’s throw-in into the back of the net.

“We dominated the game, but had problems scoring goals. Our defense and midfielders played really well.”

Central Valley lost 2-1 to third-place Buhach Colony on Feb. 2 in Ceres.

Flores accounted for the Hawks’ lone goal when she scored on a free kick in the second half.

Central Valley had an opportunity to tie the game but failed to convert a penalty kick.

“We should have won. We dominated the game. We had at least 20 opportunities to score. And only got one goal.”

The Hawks have won four of their last five games.

“The girls stepped up and turned the season around,” said Larranaga. “We changed our lineup a little bit (because of injuries). Our scoring is still the same. Our defense is making a difference. The opportunities for other teams are minimum.”

Bulldogs 1, Spartans 0

Mustangs 1, Bulldogs 0

Ceres High’s girls soccer team had a chance to lock up the Western Athletic Conference’s second playoff spot last week.

The Bulldogs dropped to 10-5-1 overall and into third place in the Western Athletic Conference (9-3-1) after winning one of their two games.

Ceres High defeated fifth-place Grace Davis 1-0 on Feb. 1 in Modesto.

Senior Jasmine Ravelo accounted for the eventual, winning goal when she broke a scoreless tie in the second half.

“We possessed the ball better,” said Coach Hannah Menk. “Our backline was really solid.”

The Bulldogs and Spartans (4-10-0) battled to a scoreless tie in the opening 40 minutes.

Ceres High’s Kristina Corbin converted a penalty kick but the goal was disallowed on a questionable call.  An official ruled Bulldog Jessie Blevins took a step forward before the shot was taken.

Blevins shouldn’t have been penalized according to Menk.

“We have video evidence,” she said. “It was a Davis player.”

Ceres High lost 1-0 at Mountain House on Jan. 30.

The Mustangs exacted revenge for a 4-3 loss.

“We were evenly-matched. It came down to who wanted it more. They wanted it more. It was their Senior Night.”

The Bulldogs allowed the game-winning goal with less than five minutes to play in the game.

Mountain House (11-5-1, 10-3-1) moved into a two-way tie for second place in the WAC standings with Ceres High.

Bulldog junior goalkeeper Lillian Blevins surrendered just one goal in two games last week. She had a combined 11 saves.

“Lilly has really stepped up her game. She’s allowed fewer goals this year. Her confidence level has improved, too.”