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Dawgs claim WACs final playoff berth
Dominique Koeurn helped lead Ceres Highs varsity girls soccer team to a third-place finish in conference play. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

A lot was at stake when Ceres High's and Livingston's varsity girls soccer teams faced off this past week.

The Bulldogs and Wolves battled for the Western Athletic Conference's final playoff berth.

Needing a tie or win to extend its season, Ceres High erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 while rallying for a thrilling 4-3 victory over Livingston on Wednesday.

"When they scored the second goal, I thought we were done," Bulldogs head coach Miguel Saldate said. "The girls surprised me."

Ceres High improved to 12-5-1 on the year and finished in third place in the WAC (8-3-1, 25 points).

Livingston compiled a 9-9-0 overall record and placed fourth in the conference standings (7-5-0, 21 points).

The Bulldogs made history last spring by winning their first-ever league title.

Ceres High fell short in its quest to repeat as WAC champs.

"Our goal was to finish in first place again," Saldate said. "We know we could have done better. We have the talent. It would have been so upsetting not making it to playoffs."

Ceres High freshman Mariah Trevino scored twice against Livingston.

Freshman Karina Estrada and junior Breanna Moreno both tallied one goal.

Bulldog sophomore goalkeeper Angelmarie Coral made four saves.

Trevino collected the biggest goal of her career during the second half.

She broke a 3-3 tie in the 65th minute.

The Bulldogs managed to beat the Wolves despite falling behind twice by two goals.

Two days earlier, Ceres High lost 4-1 at crosstown-rival Central Valley.

The Hawks posted a near-perfect 11-1-0 record on their way to claiming their first conference title this season.

In jeopardy of missing the playoffs following a record-breaking 2015 campaign, Ceres High overcame a slow start in beating Livingston in a must-win-or-tie game last week.

"We didn't play that great in the first half," Saldate said. "I don't know if the girls were nervous or if they felt any added pressure. They knew they had to win or tie to get in. They really wanted to win this game."