Barring a major collapse, Ceres High’s varsity girls soccer team should win its second league title in program history this season.
The Bulldogs increased their point total to 28 in the Western Athletic Conference standings this past week after winning and tying once.
“It’s exciting to know we’re in first right now,” offensive midfielder Miranda Larranaga said. “It feels good. We all have the same mindset. We want to win league. It’s cool to see our hard work pay off.”
Ceres High moved to 13-0-1 overall and 9-0-1 in the WAC after battling to a 1-1 draw with second-place Beyer on Jan. 30 at CUSD Stadium.
The Patriots moved to 10-4-1 and 8-1-1 (25 points).
“A lot of people showed up at the game,” Larranaga said. “That put a lot of pressure on us. It was a really good game. We tried our hardest.”
Larranaga’s goal broke a scoreless tie 24 minutes into the first half.
Beyer evened the score at 1-1 with less than 10 minutes to play.
“We knew what we were facing,” Larranaga said. “They have a good team. We didn’t win but we got the tie. We’re still first in league.”
Ceres High won the first meeting, 2-0, on Dec. 18 at the Mary Grogan Park.
Ceres High shut out Johansen, 4-0, on Jan. 27 at CUSD Stadium.
Larranaga, Jackie Ruiz, Kalyani Hermosillo and Arianah Martinez all scored once for the Bulldogs.
Siriana Gudino made four saves at goalkeeper.
“Our coach always reminds us to stay focused, play our hardest every game and never give up no matter what the score is."Miranda Larranaga
“Our coach always reminds us to stay focused, play our hardest every game and never give up no matter what the score is,” Larranaga said.
Ceres High’s final four league opponents are Los Banos, Pacheco, Mountain House and Grace Davis.
“Playoffs are going to be tougher,” Larranaga said. “We know we need to work harder.”
Hawks secure split
The Central Valley varsity girls soccer team’s playoff hopes took a big hit this past week.
The youth-laden Hawks must win out and get help from other teams to extend their streak of consecutive postseason appearances to six years.
“I knew it would be very difficult to win league this year because we have a new team,” head coach Miguel Larranaga said. “I thought we could at least make it to playoffs. At this point, it’s going to be very difficult. It’s just not our year.”
Fourth-place Central Valley dropped to 6-10-2 overall and 2-5-2 in the Central California Conference standings following its 4-0 loss to third-place Merced last Thursday on the road.
Neither team scored in the first half.
“The whole team worked hard,” Larranaga said. “We created so many opportunities and couldn’t score. We needed to stay strong until the last minute.”
The Bears edged the Hawks 1-0 earlier this season.
Central Valley routed Atwater 5-1 on Jan. 28 in Ceres.
Citlaly Salinas led the Hawks with three goals.
Sophomore Malina Keomuangchanh and Jasmine Magana both collected one goal.
Yaira Contreras had two assists.
Freshman Angie Medrano and sophomore Alapdeep Singh each had one assist.
The Hawks outscored the Falcons 3-0 during the second half.
“The girls were on fire,” Larranaga said. “We scored every opportunity we had.”
Winners of four straight league titles, Central Valley will fail to place first this season.
The Hawks’ returned just three starters from last year’s CCC championship team.
Central Valley won Western Athletic Conference crowns in 2018, 2017 and 2016.
“We have a good team,” Larranaga said. “We play hard. We’re competing. We just need more experience.”