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Ochoa staying close to home
Daniel Ochoa was promoted to Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team his freshman year.

Ochoa wrapped up his prep career with the Hawks last fall.

Daniel helped lead Central Valley to a 69-9-11 overall record, four league titles and playoff berths, and two section finals appearances.

Ochoa totaled a program-record 88 goals and dished out 27 assists.

"It was amazing to watch," Hawks head coach Omar Leon said.

Leon won't have to travel far to see Ochoa play soccer at the collegiate level.

Daniel recently committed to Cal State Stanislaus.

"Central Valley High School has been producing some great players over the years," Warriors head coach Dana Taylor said. "Danny is lethal in and around the box, has an electrifying change of pace and does a real nice job of creating space for himself, enabling him to get off his shot. We are loaded up front with pacey, skillful 1-vs-1 attackers."

Added Leon: "He has everything a player needs to have to be successful."

Daniel was voted Western Athletic Conference MVP his senior year.

He set the team's single-season goals record with 38.

"Whenever we were close in games, his individual skills made a difference," Leon said. "To me, it was an honor to have a player like that. He was immature in the beginning. It was part of the learning process. He earned the confidence and trust of his teammates."

Ochoa was also a standout in football. He was named WAC Special Teams Player of the Year during the 2011 season. Daniel, a kicker/punter, booted a career-long 47-yard field goal against Livingston. He led the league in touchbacks.

Ochoa will reunite with former Central Valley soccer teammates Larry Hernandez, Gerardo Cazares and Jose Ramirez when he enrolls at Cal State Stanislaus this fall. Hernandez played in 14 games as a freshman with the Warriors. Cazares and Ramirez both redshirted.

"I'm looking forward to it," Daniel said. "They're like family. We're going to try our best to do what we can."

"It's going to be a new challenge for Daniel," Leon added. "College soccer is totally different. You have to be very committed. He can make a difference for any team. He's fast. He's strong. He's physical. He's a complete player. I'm going to watch some of his games for sure."

Stanislaus compiled an 11-6-2 record and advanced to the semifinal round of the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament in 2011.