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CV girls soccer coach, players earn accolades
• Larranaga, Lopez & Martinez led Hawks to conference title
Central Valley seniors Jocelyn Lopez (10) and Abigail Martinez (4) were named the CCC’s Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley’s varsity girls soccer program claimed three of the four major awards during the Central California Conference year-end coaches’ meeting on Feb. 11 at Golden Valley High School.

Second-year leader Miguel Larranaga was named CCC Coach of the Year.

Senior Jocelyn Lopez was voted the conference’s Most Valuable Player.

Senior Abigail Martinez was Defensive Player of the Year.

Larranaga, Lopez and Martinez were rewarded for leading the Hawks to the CCC title (10-0-2). Central Valley captured the Western Athletic Conference crown the previous three years.

“It was unbelievable what I was able to do with my team and individually,” Lopez said. “It didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of dedication. A lot of us play year-round. That really helped.  I wish nothing but the best for the program moving forward. The younger generation will add on to what we accomplished.”

Larranaga was voted Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

“All the credit goes to the girls,” Larranaga said. “They’re the ones that play. They made my job easier. I just put them where they needed to be. I didn’t have to do too much.”

Lopez won her second consecutive MVP award.

“A big thing I wanted to do at Central Valley was leave behind a legacy,” said Lopez, who will continue her playing career at Stanislaus State.

“She’s one of the best players this city has ever had,” Larranaga said. “It will be hard to match what she did. She had an amazing career. She did more than score goals. She was a complete player. She was a great leader. She knew how to motivate the team.”

Lopez scored a program-record 96 goals and dished out 45 assists during her four-year career.

She had 33 goals and 11 assists this season.

“When I came into high school, I never thought I’d accomplish what I did,” Lopez said. “I definitely surpassed my expectations. I proved anything is possible if you work hard. I had such a great support system around me. I’m really happy to have represented Central Valley.”

Martinez anchored Central Valley’s defense, which allowed just eight goals in 12 league games.

She also contributed on offense with six goals and three assists.

“She’s a very smart player with speed and power,” Larranaga said. “She’s very dependable. She’ll get a scholarship to play college soccer somewhere.”

Seven of Central Valley’s 11 starters earned conference honors this season.

Mixtly Vega (Sr.), Jackie Sanchez (Sr.) and Citlaly Salinas (Jr.) were selected the CCC First Team.

Vega had six goals and nine assists.

Sanchez had five goals and five assists.

Salinas was a standout on defense.

Jocelyn Rodriguez (Sr.) and Lillianna Cruz (Sr.) both received second-team all-league accolades.

Rodriguez had three goals and two assists.

Cruz started at goalkeeper.

“They (Lopez, Martinez, Sanchez, Vega and Rodriguez) finished their four-year careers really strong,” Larranaga said. “It (winning four straight league titles) was not easy. They’ll be remembered for a long time.”

Added Lopez: “The most enjoyable part was having fun with the girls.”