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WAC perfection for Hawks soccer effort
Hawks edge Bulldogs 2-1, finish first in league with unblemished 12-0 record
Omar Orozco (top left) and Central Valley varsity boys soccer teammate Anthony Calvo were in a jovial mood following last weeks 2-1 victory against Ceres High. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Head coach Omar Leon and the members of Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team bounced up and down in unison.

Then it happened.


Leon was doused with a bucket of ice water following the Hawks' 2-1 win over crosstown-rival Ceres High on Monday, Oct. 28 at Bulldog Stadium.

"We were expecting a close game and that's what it was," Central Valley senior midfielder/San Diego State commitment Ozzie Ramos said. "We beat them pretty bad at our home. They wanted revenge. We didn't allow that."

The Hawks (24-1-0) won their final 18 regular season games, captured their sixth consecutive league title and secured their seventh straight playoff berth.

Central Valley posted a perfect 12-0 record in Western Athletic Conference play.

The Bulldogs placed second in the WAC (8-3-1) and advanced to the postseason for the sixth year in a row.
Central Valley routed Ceres High 5-1 on Oct. 3.

"It (winning) never gets old," said Omar Orozco, Hawks senior striker and the top scorer in the state. "It means a lot. It shows we're better."

"Once we get on the field, it's like we don't know each other," Ceres High junior forward Cris Torres said. "It's talent versus talent. It's very fun. I'm proud of all my teammates even though we didn't win today. We gave it our all."

Hawk Juan Medrano tallied one goal and one assist against the Bulldogs last week.

Omar Orozco scored once.

Daniel Hernandez collected one assist.

Goalkeepers Alex Vazquez and David Saucedo made five and four saves, respectively.

Bulldog goalie Abel Reyes had a season-high 17 saves.

Freshman Adrian Espinoza accounted for Ceres High's lone goal.

Medrano and Orozco both scored as Central Valley built a 2-0 lead in the opening half.

Omar's goal, which proved to be the game-winner, came minutes after he fired a shot off the left post.

"The defender stumbled," Orozco said. "I took the ball and shot it with my left foot."

Reyes made several one-on-one saves in the second half, including denying Orozco once.

"He kept us in the game," Bulldogs head coach Javier Mercado said.

"He's a helluva a goalie," Omar said.

Espinoza's 30-yard free kick cut the deficit to 2-1 with 15 minutes to play.

"We made the game more interesting," Torres said. "We had a lot of opportunities. We just didn't finish."

"This is my last time playing against Ceres High," Orozco said. "I have a lot of friends on that team. I knew it was going to be competitive. Nobody wants to lose at their home."

"I got a little nervous," Ramos said.

The Hawks and Bulldogs competed at a high level last week on a sloppy field for 80 minutes in front of a decent-sized crowd.

Central Valley survived and kept its perfect WAC record intact.

"The fans always come to support us, especially our parents," Ramos said. "We feel we need to give back to them."

Central Valley and Ceres High will compete in the Division III playoffs.

The Hawks advanced to the finals in 2012, 2010 and 2009.
"Our school has never won a section title," Ramos said. "We want it really bad."

"We never planned on it (going undefeated in WAC play)," Orozco added. "Our main objective is to win the section title. We really want that blue banner before we leave."

"It would mean a lot to the kids, me and the community," Central Valley head coach Omar Leon said.

The Bulldogs defeated the Hawks 2-0 for the Division-IV crown in 2009. Ceres High lost 5-4 in a penalty-kick shootout to River City in the section championship game in 2008.

"We want to go far in playoffs," Torres said. "Hopefully, we make it to the finals."

"Our expectations are very high," Mercado said. "Our chances to win a section title are really good."

Top-seeded Central Valley, which received a first-round bye, will play the winner of the No. 8 Rio Americano-No. 9 Benicia game at home this Thursday at 3 p.m.

Seventh-seeded Ceres High earned the right to compete against No. 10 American Canyon on Nov. 5. The winner will face No. 2 Oakdale on Thursday.