On paper, Central Valley’s varsity boys soccer team had a favorable match up in the first round of the CIF Northern California Regional Division-III Championship Tournament.
The top-seeded Hawks drew the No. 8 Amador Valley Dons.
Central Valley and Amador Valley were ranked 31st and 80th, respectively, in the state by MaxPreps leading up to the game.
The Dons ended the Hawks’ season with a 1-0 win in overtime on Feb. 26 at Patterson Community Stadium.
“They’re ranked worse than us but look at the competition level they had during preseason and league,” Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said. “It’s a lot better than what we were exposed to.”
The Hawks accomplished a lot this winter.
Central Valley amassed a 20-6-2 overall record, finished first in the Central California Conference (10-2-0) and advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II championship game.
“We had a great season. We won league. It would have been a perfect year winning those (section and NorCal) titles. We tried. We competed. I’m proud of all of our kids.”Coach Omar Leon
“We had a great season,” Leon said. “We won league. It would have been a perfect year winning those (section and NorCal) titles. We tried. We competed. I’m proud of all of our kids.”
The Hawks secured their 11th playoff berth and claimed their seventh league title in program history.
Central Valley also made its first appearance at NorCals.
“It’s another milestone for CV,” Leon said.
Amador Valley stunned Central Valley with a golden goal late in overtime.
“Everyone thought it was going to go to penalty kicks,” Leon said. “The time was already up. They scored in stoppage time. It’s very disappointing. We made a mistake. We lost concentration.”
Central Valley players were exhausted from their grueling postseason schedule.
Three of the Hawks’ five games went into OT.
“It’s hard to recover playing that many games at that level with that intensity,” Leon said. “The kids were tired.”