Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team collected six wins, one loss and three ties during the preseason.
The Hawks secured their sixth victory on Thursday, beating Pitman 1-0 in Ceres.
Jose Yepez scored in the first half off a pass from Juan Martinez.
Backup goalkeeper Jesus Sanchez totaled six saves against the Pride (5-3-2).
Pitman's Jesus Nunez made 12 saves.
The Hawks avenged last season's only regular-season loss, a 3-2 setback at the Pitman tournament.
"It was competitive," Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said.
Merced dealt Central Valley its first loss of the season.
The Bears defeated the visiting Hawks 2-0 on Sept. 9.
"We knew they were going to be tough," Leon said. "They're by far the best team we've played in the last three to four years. They're much superior."
Central Valley's Ramon Ruiz totaled six saves versus Merced (7-2-2).
Ivan Leon and Jose Alvarado both scored once against the Hawks.
Saad Sohail had five saves.
Central Valley forward Angel Aguilar was sidelined with an injury sustained earlier this season in Turlock.
"We had a hard time scoring because we had some players missing," Leon said. "Still, that's no excuse. Other guys needed to step up. We created opportunities but didn't finish."
The Hawks will look to continue their winning tradition.
Central Valley will be vying for its seventh straight conference title and eighth consecutive playoff berth in 2014.
"The expectations are the same every year," Leon said. "The kids are very excited and anxious to start league. There's no more room for mistakes."
Central Valley will host Pacheco today at 4 p.m.