Central Valley’s varsity boys soccer team has been in this position before.
The Hawks are closing in on another Sac-Joaquin Section finals berth.
“Everybody has been working hard for this,” said senior striker Gerardo Flores, who helped Central Valley advance to the Division-II semifinals with a pair of victories last week. “We train and prepare for moments like these. We’re all focused.”
Top-seeded Central Valley bested No. 9 Oakmont 3-2 in overtime during their quarterfinal showdown on Thursday at Patterson Community Stadium.
Flores and freshman Abel Calvo combined for the winning goal.
Calvo headed in Flores’ cross pass with seven minutes remaining in the second OT.
“Everyone’s emotions let out,” Flores said. “We were so happy.”
Flores collected one goal and two assists against Oakmont.
Jesus Yepez tallied one goal and one assist.
Calvo scored the most important goal of the game.
Hawk goalkeeper Erick Martinez made four saves.
Central Valley and Oakmont battled for 100 minutes.
“It was the most exciting game of the year. We managed to hold them off.”Gerardo Flores
“It was the most exciting game of the year,” Flores said. “We managed to hold them off.”
Central Valley beat No. 16 Stagg 3-1 in the opening round of the playoffs on Feb. 12 in Patterson.
Flores led the Hawks with one goal and one assist.
Edivaldo Yepez and Isaiah Castillo both contributed one goal.
Martinez had two saves.
Both of the Hawks’ playoff games were moved to Patterson Community Stadium last week due to a weather advisory.
Central Valley (19-3-3) will battle No. 4 Rio Americano in the semifinals at home this week.
“We just have to stay focused and play the way we know how to play,” Flores said. “We pass the ball a lot. We have a very balanced team.”
A win will send the Hawks to their sixth section title game.
Central Valley has yet to win a blue banner.
Flores was a sophomore on the 2017 team, which lost 3-1 to Lincoln in the Division-III finals.
“We want to cross that off our bucket list,” Flores said. “It would mean the world to us and our coaches to be the first group to do that.”