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Johansen edges Ceres soccer, 2-1
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Johansen hasn't had much success against the Ceres High boys soccer team. The Bulldogs have won three of the last four meetings, including two this season. Ceres defeated and tied Johansen in 2003.

On Wednesday, the Vikings edged the Bulldogs 2-1 in Modesto.

"We broke the curse," said Johansen coach Phillip Jaramillo.

Tyler Lanker, Johansen's top returner scorer from a season ago, netted the game-winning goal.

Joshua Handley delivered a pass into Ceres' penalty box, and Lanker trapped the ball and finished from six feet out with his right foot.

"This was his first game back," Jaramillo said. "He played in 10-minute spurts."

Lanker returned to the Vikings' lineup for the first time since breaking his right foot while playing in a tournament for the Modesto Ajax.

"Our whole defense was ball watching," said Ceres coach Joe Byrne. "We had nobody on the back post.

"We should have at least gotten out of here with a tie."

The Bulldogs could have won the game if they finished.

In the 72nd minute, Ceres High striker Victor Perez beat two defenders and fired a shot past Johansen goalie Osvaldo Felix. Perez failed to score as the ball rolled just outside of the right post.

Perez also threatened in the 67th minute. Pressured by several defenders on a fastbreak, he failed to get off a clean shot.

"We almost lost it," Jaramillo said. "Luckily, we prevailed."

Johansen's defense limited Perez, Ceres' leading scorer, to just one goal.

"They really loaded up on Victor today," Byrne said. "For most of the match, they had two or three guys on him."

Johansen dealt Ceres its third-consecutive loss, and eliminated the Bulldogs from the playoff race.

"It's extremely disappointing," Byrne said.

"I still believe we're the most talented team in the league."

Byrne attributes the untimely collapse to a lack of dedication. Just eight players attended practice on Monday, Oct. 18.

"That definitely showed in the way we played," Byrne said.

Ceres fell behind in the 60th minute when Frank Coelho headed in Christian Freitas' crossing pass.

The Bulldogs responded with a goal off a free kick from just outside of the Johansen penalty box in the 70th minute.

Perez fired a shot over a wall of Johansen defenders and into the upper-right corner of the goal.

The Vikings created several scoring chances early in the second half.

Freitas booted a crossing pass into the Bulldogs' penalty box. And Coelho just missed. His right-footed, volley shot rolled off the crossbar and out of bounds.

Several minutes later, Ceres goalkeeper Ricardo Castellanos made a brilliant save. He dove and deflected Handley's close-range shot with his right hand. The ball hit the left post and skidded out of bounds.

Castellanos had nine saves in the game. Felix finished with eight saves.

The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half.

Ceres 10, Downey 1

Ceres High pummeled Downey in Modesto on Friday.

Perez scored a league-record seven goals, Hector Serrato added two goals and one assist and David Magana had one goal and an assist for the Bulldogs, which improved to 7-6 in the MMC.

Ceres' Genaro Arana, Fernando Vargas and Giulio Zottarelli also contributed. Arana and Vargas each had two assists. Zottarelli made five saves in goal.

Armando Reyes scored once and goalies Diego Vera and Lakin Ambriz had nine and five saves, respectively, for Downey, which fell to 0-12-1 in the league standings. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier