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Second-best again
Central Valley High School boys soccer team loses in section finals for fourth time
Central Valley High School varsity boys soccer teammates console each other following Saturdays 3-2 loss to Christian Brothers in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship game at Stagg High School. It marked the fourth time the Hawks reached the finals and lost. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Overcome with emotion, Ozzie Ramos dropped to the ground.

Anthony Calvo fought back tears while being consoled by his younger brother Adrian.

Omar Orozco walked slowly off the field.

Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team is no stranger to heartbreak.

The top-seeded Hawks lost 3-2 to No. 3 Christian Brothers in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship game Saturday afternoon at Stockton's Stagg High School.

It marked the fourth time the Hawks reached the section finals and lost.

"We had the opportunity to make history and we didn't," said Ramos, a senior midfielder. "We're really disappointed."

The Hawks posted a program-best 26-2-0 overall record, captured their sixth straight conference title (12-0-0) and qualified for the postseason for the seventh straight year.

The Falcons (15-3-4, 8-0-2 Capital Valley Conference champs) won their seventh section crown.

"We're walking away with the same frustration," Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said. "It's the only game we haven't been able to win. I'm still trying to find the answers. Life isn't fair I guess."

Orozco netted his state-leading 46th and 47th goals of the season for Central Valley.

Junior Kristian Heptner, the state's No. 3 scorer, accounted for all three of Christian Brothers' goals.

The Falcons snapped the Hawks' 20-game winning streak. Orozco gave Central Valley a 1-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game.

Heptner, a 6-foot-3 junior, scored twice on headers and slotted a shot past Hawk goalkeeper Alex Vazquez while helping Christian Brothers build a 3-1 lead in the opening half.

Kristian totaled 36 goals this year.

Orozco's put-back goal cut the deficit to 3-2 with 17 minutes, 47 seconds to play.

Central Valley had several scoring chances late but failed to capitalize.

"We had 15 bad minutes," Leon said. "Otherwise, it would have been a different game. They had four opportunities and scored three. Soccer-wise, the other team was not better than us. I'm going to give the credit to No. 9. That kid gots some skills especially up in the air. He pretty much took the game away from us."

On the doorstep of history, the Hawks were denied a storybook ending to the 2013 season.

Central Valley wanted to add its name to the Sac-Joaquin Section history books.

The Hawks placed second in 2012, 2010 and 2009.

"We had a lot of positives this year," Ramos said. "We deserved to be here. We were confident we were going to win. There's nothing to complain about. The other team took advantage of our mistakes. It's really unfortunate."

"I don't think we're ever going to have such a solid team again, overall," Leon added. "This team was special. They're not only good athletes but good students."