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Frustration. Desperation. Exhilaration.

The members of Central Valley High School's varsity boys soccer team experienced a roller-coaster ride of emotions during its Valley Oak League championship tilt with crosstown rival Ceres High on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at Bulldog Stadium.

Needing a win or tie to capture their second straight conference title, the Hawks rallied for a 1-1 draw in front of more than 500 spectators to stun Ceres High. Central Valley players and fans relished every minute of the wild postgame celebration.

"The kids did it," said Hawks head coach Omar Leon, who was soaked with ice water and hoisted in the air. "They made a lot of sacrifices during the season. And the prize was this. I'm really happy for them."

Hawk forward Daniel Ochoa played the role of hero again. The speedy sophomore evened the score off a rebound with 17 minutes 36 seconds left in regulation.

The goal should have never counted according to Bulldog goalie Kyle Cerny.

"The ball was in before (Ceres High's Victor Corona) kicked it out," said Ochoa, whose 68th-minute goal propelled Central Valley past the Bulldogs, 1-0, earlier this season.

The Hawks managed to tie Ceres High despite competing without their top player. Jose Ramirez, Central Valley's star junior offensive midfielder, missed the game due to yellow-card accumulation. Antonio Cabrera, the team's leading scorer, replaced Ramirez.

"With Jose not out there, we had to give it 150 percent," Ochoa said. "I told him at school I was going to score for him."

"I was going through so many emotions," Ramirez said. "I would have felt it was my fault if we lost. I don't know how I would have recovered from it."

"Jose wasn't on the field physically," Leon said. "But he was here mentally. He was still the leader on the bench."

For the second straight year, Central Valley edged Ceres High for the VOL crown.

The Hawks posted a 12-1-3 record (39 points), while the Bulldogs went 12-2-2 (38).

Central Valley has never lost to Ceres High during the four-year series, compiling six wins and two ties.

The Bulldogs were in position to end that streak last week after Corona slotted a shot past Hawk goalkeeper Gerardo Cazares on a counter-attack in the 39th minute. Central Valley never lost confidence.

"We made a mistake," Leon said. "But we knew we still had 40 minutes to play."

"It was very important for us to win league again," Ochoa said. "It feels so good. All the effort we put in at practice paid off."

Leon held a pizza party in his classroom at lunchtime on Wednesday. He stayed true to his promise to shave his head. Ochoa provided the clippers.

Four years ago, Central Valley fielded its first-ever varsity boys soccer team.

The Hawks have won two league titles and earned three playoff berths since 2007. They advanced to the semi-final round of the Division IV postseason tournament in 2008.

"We're not in the shadows at our school now," junior midfielder Larry Hernandez said. "It means a lot. We'll have a chance to do it (win the VOL title) again next year."

Added Leon: "They're part of Central Valley's history now. Their names are going to be there forever."