Central Valley's varsity boys soccer team had its streak of consecutive playoff appearances snapped at eight years in 2016.
The 2017 Hawks boosted their postseason hopes in recent weeks.
Central Valley (14-5-3, 6-3-2) remained in third place in the Western Athletic Conference standings after collecting two wins and one loss in a six-day span.
"We've improved tremendously since last year," head coach Omar Leon said. "I'll be disappointed if we don't make it (playoffs)."
Livingston rallied for a 4-2 victory against Central Valley on Thursday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
"Livingston is in first place for a reason," Leon said. "They're consistent. We're very unpredictable."
Hawk Andres Velasquez tallied two goals against the Wolves (9-1-1).
Jacob Guerrero and Michael Vazquez both contributed one assist.
Central Valley led 1-0 at intermission.
The Hawks allowed three goals in a five-minute span during the second half.
"We gave the game away after playing 40 minutes of good soccer," Leon said.
Ceres High topped host Patterson for the second time, 4-1, on Jan. 31.
Velasquez led the Hawks with two goals.
Jesus Gudino and Gerardo Flores both scored once.
Guerrero, Adrian Espinoza and Isaac Juarez all collected one assist.
Goalkeeper Christian Gonzalez totaled three saves.
"It's one of the most complete games we've had in league," Leon said.
Central Valley posted a 2-0 win over crosstown-rival Ceres High on Jan. 28 at Bulldog Stadium.
Velasquez scored twice.
Erick Espindola had one assist.
The Hawks and Bulldogs tied 1-1 earlier this season.
"Overall, it was a good performance," Leon said. "We could have done better."
The top four teams in the WAC qualify for playoffs.
"We don't have a chance for first place anymore," Leon said. "It would have been nice to win it. But I'm not disappointed. Overall, I have a positive feeling especially after what happened last year. We didn't have the hunger and competitiveness we have now."
Central Valley will battle second-place Pacheco (7-1-3) on Thursday in Los Banos.