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Hawks finish in third place at East Union Tournament
Central Valleys varsity boys soccer team collected three wins and one loss while finishing in third place at the East Union Tournament this past week at the Legacy Sports Fields Complex in Tracy. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's varsity boys soccer team continued its run of excellence by finishing in third place at the East Union Tournament this past week at the Legacy Fields Sports Complex in Tracy.

The Hawks took second at the Dec. 1-2 Buchanan event in Clovis.

"I'm very happy," head coach Omar Leon said. "The kids are doing really well against first-caliber teams."

Central Valley picked up three wins and one loss at the East Union tourney.

The Hawks edged the host Lancers 2-1 for third place Saturday afternoon.

"East Union always has a good program," Leon said. "We beat them last year to go to the section finals."

Junior Gerardo Flores scored twice for the Hawks.

Sophomore Isaac Juarez collected one assist.

Sophomore goalkeeper Mauricio Perez totaled 15 saves.

Mauricio's play earned Omar's praise.

Perez has allowed just four goals this season.

"He's doing what we're asking him to do," Leon said. "He's keeping his composure. He's constantly talking to his defenders and making sure they're in the right spots."

Flores broke a 1-1 tie with a goal midway through the second half.

Central Valley lost 4-2 to McClatchy in a penalty-kick shootout during the semifinals Saturday morning.

"It's frustrating (losing in that fashion)," Leon said. "It's part of the game. Somebody has to advance."

Juarez, junior Victor Torres and Jonathan Garcia all scored once.

Sophomore Hector Hernandez had one assist.

Perez finished with five saves.

Both teams tallied one goal in regulation.

McClatchy evened the score with less than five minutes to play.

Central Valley shut out Mountain House 5-0 Friday afternoon.

Pedro Vargas scored a team-high two goals.

Juarez and freshman Agustin Gutierrez chipped in with one goal and one assist apiece.

Angel Arellano contributed one goal.

Perez made five saves.

Central Valley defeated Grace Davis 4-0 Friday afternoon.

Flores filled the stat sheet with two goals and one assist.

Juarez and junior Edivaldo Yepez both scored once.

Gutierrez, Pedro Amaya and sophomore Joel Arellano all dished out one assist.

Hawks 1, Bears 1
Central Valley battled to a 1-1 tie versus Merced while competing under the lights at home for the first time on Dec. 6.

"It was something new for us being able to play a night game (on campus)," Leon said. "The kids had fun."

Gutierrez, Flores and Perez led the way with one goal, one assist and eight saves, respectively.

Gutierrez's header off a pass from Flores gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the opening half.

The Bears tallied the equalizer during the second half.

"We didn't play well," Leon said. "We were having a hard time maintaining possession because of the conditions of the field. There's not a lot of grass. The ball is really bouncy."

Central Valley, which had a 6-2-2 record as of Monday, will face Modesto High, Turlock and Golden Valley this week.

"I still think we can improve as a team," Leon said.