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Dawgs make soccer history
Ceres High ends long drought by securing second-ever postseason berth
Breanna Moreno uses her head during Ceres Highs 2-1 triumph over Patterson in varsity girls soccer on Wednesday at Bulldog Stadium. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

More than 15 years have passed since Ceres High School's varsity girls soccer team participated in the playoffs.

The Bulldogs locked up a postseason berth-just their second in program history-with a 2-1 win over visiting Patterson on Wednesday in Ceres.

"I'm excited," Ceres High head coach Miguel Saldate said. "I haven't mentioned anything to the girls. I don't want them to get too comfortable."

The Bulldogs (8-1-1, 25 points) remained in a tie for first place in the WAC standings with Livingston (8-2-1, 25 points).

The Tigers (4-3-3, 15 points) dropped to fourth place in the conference standings.

The top three teams in the WAC qualify for the playoffs.

"We've been waiting for this for a long time," Saldate said.

The Bulldogs and Tigers tied 1-1 on the FieldTurf at Patterson Community Stadium on March 23.

"Playing at home helped us," Saldate said. "We have a grass field. The ball doesn't roll as fast. I was nervous before the game started, just thinking how to score on them."

Ceres High's Miranda Wilds and Allyson Hailey both scored once during the rematch.

Bulldog goalkeeper Angelmarie Coral totaled four saves.

Cristina Arreola, Karina Torrez, Angelica Slater and Jaden Dellafosse starred on defense.

Wilds, a speedy freshman striker, gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute.

"She's a very talented player," Saldate said.

Hailey, a junior forward, increased Ceres High's lead to 2-0 with a goal less than five minutes into the second half.

The Bulldogs, winners of their last four conference games, will battle for playoff seeding along with Livingston and Central Valley (7-3-0, 21 points) this week.

Ceres High's guaranteed no worse than a third-place finish.

"We want to try to finish in first place," Saldate said.