Central Valley’s varsity boys soccer team had its 14-game unbeaten streak snapped by El Capitan last week.
The shorthanded Hawks lost 3-2 to the Gauchos in Central California Conference play on Friday in Ceres.
Erick Martinez-Stucchi, the CCC’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2019, missed the contest due to a conflicting schedule.
“It hurt not being able to play,” he said. “The game got rescheduled from Thursday to Friday and I had to work.”
Central Valley dropped to 11-3-3 overall and second place in the league standings (3-1-2).
El Capitan improved to 8-4-1 and 2-2-1.
“It’s definitely a sour feeling losing,” Martinez-Stucchi said. “I’m glad it happened now instead of later in the year. It’s a minor setback for a major comeback. We’ll bounce back. We’ll start a new streak. It’s just a matter of us committing and flipping that switch into second gear. We got to progress to get to where we want to get, which is winning that blue (section championship) banner.”
Agustin Gutierrez and Jesus Yepez led the Hawks in scoring with two goals apiece in defeat.
Alexis Jimenez and Alex Bautista both collected one assist.
Backup sophomore goalie Gael Navarro totaled three saves.
Central Valley battled to a 2-2 tie with last-place Buhach Colony on Jan. 14 in Atwater.
Sebastian Castillo and Leo Giovanni Ayala both tallied one goal and one assist against the Thunder (3-11-2, 0-3-2).
Martinez-Stucchi had five saves.
The Hawks fell behind 2-1 in the opening half.
“We dug a hole for ourselves,” Martinez-Stucchi said. “Luckily, we were able to get a tie.”
Central Valley will play host to first-place Patterson (9-2-0, 4-1-0) on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
The Hawks won the first meeting, 1-0, on the road.
“We’re looking forward to that game,” Martinez-Stucchi said. “Patterson is our rival.”
Dawgs win, tie
Ceres High’s varsity boys soccer team enjoyed its best season to date this past winter.
The Bulldogs claimed the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship on their way to compiling a program-best 20-2-4 overall record.
Ceres High’s 2019-20 squad has experienced growing pains without Saul Ruiz, Ivan Arita, Leo Trujillo and Raul Guzman. Ruiz, Arita, Trujillo and Guzman graduated in June.
“This year is different,” new head coach Gilbert Zamora said. “We made some changes to our lineup. We’ll try to get there (section finals) again. It’s going to be hard. But anything is possible.”
The Bulldogs improved to 4-5-3 overall and remained in fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings (2-1-3) last week.
“The WAC is a lot tougher this year,” Zamora said. “It’s really competitive. I like playing against tougher teams. We can’t tie or lose any more games. That’s what it’s going to take to make playoffs. We have to work harder.”
Visiting Ceres High shut out last-place Mountain House 5-0 on Friday.
Emilio Padilla and Fernando Sosa led the Bulldogs with one goal and one assist each.
Victor Hurtado, Leo Juarez and Hassiel Ruiz all scored once.
Daniel Carranza and Hugo Mercado both tallied one assist.
“We played as a team,” he said. “That’s what made the difference.”
Ceres High tied third-place Los Banos 2-2 on Jan. 15 at CUSD Stadium.
Antonio Medina and Luis Yepez accounted for the Bulldogs’ two goals.
Goalkeeper Porfirio Rodriguez made two saves.
The Bulldogs attempted 14 shots during the contest.
“We dominated the game,” Zamora said. “We struggled to finish. We had five one-on-one shots and didn’t score.”
Ceres High will play at Grace Davis today at 3 p.m. and host Lathrop this Friday at 5:30 p.m.
“We’re not even halfway through league,” Zamora said. “We have to start building confidence and what I mean by that is to finish scoring. If we do that, we might end up in a better position.”