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High hopes for CV, CHS
Hawks, Bulldogs optimistic heading into 2014 varsity girls soccer campaign
Angelica Slater, Ceres Highs top returning player, garnered second-team accolades a year ago for her outstanding play on defense. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity girls soccer team placed fifth in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 3-7-2 mark last year.

The Bulldogs will be striving for a major turnaround under new head coach Miguel Saldate's guidance in 2014.

Saldate spent the past two seasons coaching boys and girls soccer at the JV level.

"It's nice doing JV because it's fun and competitive," Miguel said. "Varsity is different. It's more competitive. The pressure becomes a little higher. You have more responsibilities. You have to win if you want to stay hired. I'll take the challenge."

Ceres High's roster features a mix of veterans and newcomers.

The Bulldogs' top returning players are Angelica Slater (Jr.), Victoria Andrade (Sr.), Giselle Madrigal (Sr.), Arcelia Hermosillo (Sr.), Jacqueline Gonzalez (Sr.) and Karina Torrez (So.).

Ceres High teammates Laura Espinoza (Sr.), Adilene Alberto (Jr.), Lisette Carretero (Jr.), Crystal Carrillo (Jr.), Cristina Arreola (Fr.), Vanessa Martinez (Sr.), Jessica Mercado (Sr.), Edith Peralta (Sr.), Gabriella Blandino (Jr.), Andrea Flores (Jr.), Vanesa Soto (Jr.), Jolyce Vega (Jr.), Justine Vega (Jr.) and Dominique Koeurn (Fr.) will also be counted upon to contribute.

"We have a lot of seniors," Saldate said. "This is their last year. They talk about doing better. We're shooting for more wins."

Slater, Andrade, Madrigal and Hermosillo are team captains.

Angelica was selected to the WAC Second Team as a sophomore. She starred at sweeper.

"We have a good defense and midfield," Saldate said. "We have to improve our scoring."

Vying for its first-ever trip to the playoffs, Central Valley High School's varsity girls soccer team dropped out of contention last year following a 1-2-1 finish to the Western Athletic Conference season.

The Hawks compiled a 5-5-2 record en route to a fourth-place showing.

Central Valley will compete with a revamped roster in 2014 as a dozen players were lost to graduation.

"Our communication is stronger this year," Hawks head coach Cyndi Meshach said. "Having fewer girls at tryouts was huge. They bonded early."

Key Hawk returnees include Emely Amaya (Jr.), Rocio Beltran (Sr.), Mayra Duran (Sr.), Martha Gonzalez (Sr.) and Carina Partida (Sr.).

Andrea Alvarez (Sr.), Emily Curry (Sr.), Viviana Nides (Sr.), Laura Sanchez (Sr.), Celeste Acebes (Jr.), Elida Flores (Jr.), Daisy Ochoa (Jr.), Julisa Verazas (Jr.), Evelyn Andrade (So.), Stephanie Lopez (So.), Nicole Munoz (So.) and Victoria Castillo (Fr.) earned roster spots as well.

Central Valley has three team captains: Amaya, Gonzalez and Acebes.

Emely earned first-team, all-league accolades her sophomore year. A standout midfielder, Amaya had one assist.

The Hawks have never qualified for the playoffs. Central Valley fielded its first-ever girls soccer team in 2007.

The Bulldogs made their lone postseason appearance in program history during the 1990s.

The top three teams in the WAC advance to the playoffs.
Central Catholic (11-0-1), Livingston (10-2-0) and Patterson (7-3-2) placed first, second and third, respectively, a season ago.

Ceres High and Central Valley finished ahead of Pacheco (2-9-1) and Los Banos (0-12-0).

"The girls are pretty focused," Saldate said. "We want to finish in the top half of league. We have a pretty good team. Central Valley should do well, too."