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Ochoa scores 3 goals in Hawks' first game
Two of the area's premier varsity boys soccer teams faced off Thursday in Ceres.

Central Valley High School emerged with a convincing 3-0 win over Downey during the non-conference, season-opening tune-up.

The Hawks and Knights won the Valley Oak League and Modesto Metro Conference titles, respectively, last year.

"I thought it would be a very close game," Central Valley sophomore forward Daniel Ochoa said. "I was nervous."

Ochoa scored twice in a four-minute span in the opening half for the the Hawks.

Jonathan Ramos put back a teammate's miss in the second half.

Larry Hernandez and Antonio Cabrera both had one assist.

Goalkeeper Jose Pacheco made three key saves.

Central Valley took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute when Ochoa collected a pass from Hernandez and finished from 15 yards out with his left foot.

"We started playing better after we scored the first goal," head coach Omar Leon said.

In the 26th minute, Cabrera sent a pass into the box from the right side and Ochoa deflected the ball off Downey's goalie. For the first time in his career, Daniel had a multi-goal game.

"He's a complete player," Leon said.

Ramos scored off a rebound in the closing minutes of the one-sided contest.

Central Valley had an impressive 2009 debut against Downey. The Knights have participated in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs the past four seasons. The Hawks are vying for their third straight Division IV tournament appearance.

"I saw some very good things today," Leon said. "We possessed the ball. We didn't give it away. I really liked their attitude. I'm very happy with the score, but we still have a lot of stuff to work on."

Added Ochoa: "We started off the season good. That's important."

Timberwolves Cup

Central Valley High School fell a win short of defending its title at the 17th Annual Sierra High varsity boys soccer tournament on Saturday.

Playing four games in triple-digit heat proved too daunting of a task.

"Most of the players were cramping up," head coach Omar Leon said. "Physically, their legs weren't able to respond. It was brutal."

The Hawks collected a pair of wins and two losses.

Central Valley surrendered a goal in the 15th minute of its 1-0 loss to Chavez in the finals.

Both coaches agreed to shorten the length of the game because of the blazing heat.

Hawk standouts Gerardo Cazares and Tony Cabrera lost one-one-one battles to Chavez's goalkeeper.

"We dominated," Leon said. "We didn't score on the chances that we had."

The Hawks opened the tournament with a 3-1 loss to Stagg.

Central Valley shut out Franklin (4-0) and Sierra (1-0).

Cabrera totaled four goals, including three against Franklin.

Jose Ramirez scored once.

The Hawks advanced to the championship game of the Timberwolves Cup for the third straight year. Central Valley also had to settle for runner-up honors in 2007.