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Tigers overcome two-goal deficit, eliminate Dawgs from WAC-title race
Cristopher Torres raced upfield and celebrated with reserve Ceres High varsity boys soccer teammates.

Torres' nifty goal gave the third-place Bulldogs a 2-0 lead six minutes into the second half against first-place Patterson.

Facing constant pressure the rest of the way, Ceres High suffered a stunning collapse in losing 5-2 to the Tigers on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Bulldog Stadium.

"We didn't stay focused," Ceres High head coach Javier Mercado said. "We made a lot of mistakes. That's why we lost the game."

The hard-to-stomach setback eliminated Ceres High (7-3-1) and Central Valley (8-1-1) from the Western Athletic Conference title race.

Central Valley won the WAC crown last year, and placed first in the Valley Oak League from 2009-2010.

Patterson, Central Valley and Ceres High all qualified for the playoffs this year.

"We're not worried about Central Valley," Mercado said. "We want to do our own thing."

Torres and Tomas Rocha both scored once against Patterson (9-1-1).

Freddy Arana and Moises Rocha assisted.

Goalkeeper Abel Reyes had six saves.

Osvaldo Barbosa scored twice for the Tigers.

Andres Herrera, Israel Sotelo and Kiky Gonzalez all contributed one goal.

Ceres High grabbed a 2-0 lead in the 46th minute when Torres beat Patterson goalkeeper Jose Martinez with a chip shot. Cristopher chased down a long pass from Moises while being hounded by two Tiger defenders.

Patterson roared back with five goals in a 28-minute span.

Barbosa put back Tiger teammate Adrian Ramirez's initial shot attempt in the 52nd minute.

Barbosa's header off a long throw-in from Ramirez evened the score in the 55th minute.

Gonzalez sent a cornerkick into the box and Herrera finished with his right foot in the 71st minute.

Sotelo's 45-yard free kick sailed over Reyes' outstretched arms in the 75th minute.

The Tigers tallied their last goal in the final minute. Abel misplayed Israel's cornerkick.

Tomas Rocha accounted for Ceres High's first goal.

Rocha collected a cross pass from Arana and slotted a close-range shot past Martinez in the 35th minute.

Bulldog midfielder Raymundo Reyes exited the contest late in the first half with a hamstring injury.

"It was our game," Tomas Rocha said. "We should have won. Everybody got overconfident. We made simple mistakes and lacked communication. I can't believe it."

Arana pulled his jersey over his head at the conclusion of the game.

Bulldog teammate Gustavo Villalon put his hands on his hips and closed his eyes.

"We're in shock right now," Mercado said. "We shouldn't have lost like that."

Added Tomas Rocha: "It's embarrassing."