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CV girls soccer moving forward without longtime leader
Meshachs eight-year stint ends following run of success
Central Valleys girls soccer program accomplished a lot under Cyndi Meshachs tenure. The Hawks won 19 of 21 games last season. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

After eight years, two Sac-Joaquin Section playoff appearances and one Western Athletic Conference championship, Cyndi Meshach is no longer the head coach of Central Valley's varsity girls soccer program.

Athletic Director Greg Magni informed Meshach she wouldn't be coming back during the summertime.

Cyndi was replaced by Central Valley Spanish teacher/former JV Hawks girls soccer coach Maria Briones. Cyndi works off campus.

"Each year, coaching positions re-open for anyone to apply," Magni said. "There are no extended contracts. If a credentialed teacher applies, they have priority over a walk-on coach."

Meshach doesn't hold any ill feelings towards Central Valley, Magni or Briones.

"I was hoping to come back," she said. "But I knew there was a chance that might not happen so I wasn't totally shocked. I'm disappointed. But it is what it is. I was involved in soccer before I got there. I'll stay involved. Ceres is the town my children grew up in and that's where I'll continue to put in my volunteer hours. I still get to see the girls through their club play. I just saw them last weekend when they knocked off the No. 1 seed for State Cup."

Meshach, Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year the past two seasons, changed Central Valley's varsity girls soccer program for the better.

"She did a great job with our girls," Magni said. "She was very successful her time here."

The Hawks enjoyed their best season to date during the 2015-16 school year by claiming their first conference title and participating in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Central Valley won 19 of 21 games, including 10 straight, and captured the WAC crown with a near-perfect 11-1-0 record.

The Hawks earned their first playoff victory while finishing in the top eight in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III bracket.

Central Valley topped Ripon, Johansen and Linden en route to winning the title at its home tournament for the first time. "This team was the standout," Meshach said. "They had so much experience. But they were completely coachable. You have to attribute that to their parents and own personalities."

The Hawks enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014-15. Central Valley advanced to the playoffs for the first time and placed third in the WAC standings (8-3-1).

The Hawks had a combined record of 40-47-12 in conference play during Meshach's tenure. Central Valley accumulated 29 wins, 13 losses and five draws over the past four seasons.

The Hawks went 5-23 under different leadership from 2006-08.

"You're always striving to do your best and win every game," Meshach said. "There are also baby steps. That's how you build a team. There were so many girls I was able to teach and grow with. They taught me a lot. You can have the greatest coach in the world. If the team doesn't listen, the coach is irrelevant. My favorite thing about the current team is they're eager to learn and try new things. We had a good connection."

Briones, Central Valley's new leader, inherits a program hungry to make more history. The Hawks, 19-4-1 in WAC play over the past two seasons, will be favored to win their second straight league championship this winter.

"I love the girls," Meshach said. "I loved coaching them. I'm in their corner. I'm hoping they win a Sac-Joaquin Section title. It's not a goal that's too lofty. But it's a goal they'll have to work hard for."

Central Valley's returning players found out by group text that Meshach would not be coaching this year's team.

"I didn't want them to hear the news from anybody else," she said. "They're only in high school once. They need to put this behind them. The best thing they could do for me and themselves is to make it happen again. My expectations are high. There's a ton of talent on that team."