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Hawks sweep major awards
Amaya voted Western Athletic Conference MVP, Meshach Coach of the Year
Ceres Highs Angelica Slater (15) earned first-team all-conference honors. The Bulldogs placed first. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School varsity girls soccer leader Cyndi Meshach had no complaints following the Western Athletic Conference year-end coaches' meeting.

The Hawks claimed two major awards and had an additional four players earn special recognition.

"It was surprising to me because we finished in third place," said Meshach, who expected WAC-champion Ceres High to sweep the top individual honors. "I was shocked."

Central Valley (8-3-1) reached record heights this year by finishing in third place in the WAC and qualifying for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time.

Meshach was voted WAC Coach of the Year.

"I'm humbled and honored," she said. "It's the girls' award. It's not mine."

Central Valley senior center midfielder Emely Amaya was named the WAC's Most Valuable Player.

Amaya was a four-year starter with the Hawks.

"It was almost unanimous," Meshach said. "She's an outstanding player. She had an insane ability to communicate with her teammates without saying a word."

Junior center midfielder Evelyn Andrade and senior outside midfielder Celeste Acebes were both selected to the WAC First Team.

Senior outside midfielder Daisy Ochoa and freshman utility player Mariana Garibay earned second-team, all-conference accolades.

Amaya, Andrade, Acebes and Garibay shared team-captain duties.

Miguel Saldate, head coach of first-place Ceres High, left the WAC year-end coaches' meeting disappointed.

"I thought us making history and taking first would give us a better chance at winning more stuff," he said.

The Bulldogs amassed a 9-1-2 record while capturing their first conference title.

Ceres High compiled a 2-0-1 record against Central Valley.

Bulldog senior Angelica Slater was selected to the WAC First Team, along with fellow defenders Karina Torrez (Jr.) and Cristina Arreola (So.).

Slater, a four-year starter and Ceres High's team captain, anchored a defense that allowed just nine goals in 12 conference games.

"She should have been MVP," Saldate said.

Jaden Dellafosse (So.) and Angelita Cerrillo (So.) both garnered second-team honors.

Dellafosse split play at defender and forward.

Cerrillo started at halfback.

A total of 24 players were recognized by the WAC's head coaches.