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Lady Hawks hungry in soccer
Abigail Martinez and Central Valleys varsity girls soccer team will play host to Pioneer in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs today at 6:30 p.m. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's varsity girls soccer program received a favorable first-round draw for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoff tournament.

The third-seeded Hawks will play host to the 14th-seeded Pioneer Patriots today.

"I'm happy with our seed," Central Valley first-year head coach Miguel Larranaga. "It was pretty fair. We had one loss this year."

The Hawks compiled a 18-1-2 overall record and captured their third consecutive Western Athletic Conference title (9-1-0) during the regular season.

The Patriots went 10-6-4 and placed third in the Tri County Conference (6-4-2).

"At this point, everything changes," Larranaga said. "It doesn't matter what you did during the regular season. There's no tomorrow. We'll play every game like it's the final."

Rio Americano, Sierra, Central Valley and Woodland earned the top four seeds in the Division-III playoff bracket.

The Hawks were seeded nine spots higher than the crosstown-rival/WAC runner-up Bulldogs.

Ceres High dealt Central Valley its lone loss this year.

"It would be amazing if we could both make it to the finals," Larranaga said. "It would be a dream."

If Central Valley and Sierra both take care of business in the first round and quarterfinals, they'll battle for a berth to the championship game.

Ceres High would need to upset three opponents to advance to the finals.

"The girls want the (section) title," Larranaga said. "That's all they talk about. It's not going to be easy. But I think they can make it happen. They have the right mentality."

The Hawks will participate in the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Central Valley and Pioneer will face off under the lights in Ceres.

The contest will get underway at 6:30 p.m.

"Playing at home is always an advantage," Larranaga said. "We practice there every day. I'm sure a lot of people are going to be there."