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Hawks battling for third place in soccer
CV boys return to playoffs following one-year absence
Gerardo Flores and Central Valleys varsity boys soccer team competed against Los Banos and Pacheco last week. - photo by Courier file photo

Central Valley's varsity boys soccer program needs to win once or collect two ties this week to secure the Western Athletic Conference's third playoff spot.

The top four teams qualify for the postseason.

"Third place is still undecided," Hawks head coach Omar Leon said. "Six points are up for grabs."

Visiting Central Valley cruised to a 12-0 victory over last-place Los Banos on Feb. 7.

"Everything went our way," Leon said.

The lopsided win helped the Hawks (7-4-2) maintain a four-point lead over fourth-place Patterson (6-6-1) in the WAC standings.

Central Valley's Andres Velasquez filled the stat sheet with five goals and three assists against Los Banos (0-12-1).

"He's been working very hard this year," Leon said. "He also has very good midfielders that allow him to push up and score goals."

Angel Lopez and Gerardo Flores tallied two goals and one assist each.

Angel Arellano had one goal and one assist.

Jacob Guerrero and Giovanni Lozano both had one goal.

Gilberto Flores had one assist.

Hawk goalkeeper Cristian Gonzalez was forced to make just one save.

"Everybody got to play," Leon said.

Visiting Central Valley lost 4-2 to first-place Pacheco (9-1-3) on Thursday.

"Pacheco is the most complete team in the WAC," Leon said. "Their program has come a long way."

Velasquez and Isaac Juarez both scored once for the Hawks.

Gerardo Flores and Adrian Espinoza chipped in with one assist apiece.

Gonzalez totaled seven saves.

Central Valley will close out the WAC campaign with games against Patterson and fifth-place Ceres High (2-9-2) this week.

The host Hawks will battle the crosstown-rival Bulldogs on Thursday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park. The contest will begin at 3 p.m.

Central Valley tied Ceres High 1-1 and shut out the Bulldogs 2-0 earlier this season.

The Bulldogs edged out the Hawks for the WAC's final playoff berth last winter.

Central Valley participated in the postseason the previous eight seasons. "It's an improvement from last year," Leon said while assessing his team's play in 2017. "That's a positive."