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Hawks hold off Bulldogs after second half surge
Turlock soccer 2
Turlocks Isaiah Johnson gets ready to make a quick pass to a teammate during Tuesdays 2-1 loss to Central Valley.

Turlock High's varsity boys’ soccer team had gone undefeated in preseason prior to Tuesday night, when the streak came to an end.

The Bulldogs lost their first game of the season in a home preseason bout against the No. 27 team in California.

It was a tightly contested match that showcased incredible speed from both sides during the entire 80 minutes, but in the end, the Central Valley Hawks were able to hold off the 'Dogs’ second half surge to end it at 2-1.

“It was one of those games where we just didn't finish and they did on their opportunities and they played hard and well,” said Turlock head coach Doug Sperry. “On a positive note, it shows what we are capable of and can play with anyone.”

Turlock was more than capable. They controlled the pitch in the second half, despite being down 1-0, and even 2-0 at one point, but they continued to press forward and maintain possession on CV's half of the field.

“I think today was a good test,” said Sperry. “It was the first game we’ve been really tested so far this year. We haven't had a game like that with some weird calls made and weird things and I think our guys obviously got frustrated and hopefully we learn and going to run into that and they have to deal with it better.”

Just eight minutes into the second half, CV scored and went up 2-0. That was the final miscue that Turlock had for the remainder of the game.

For the final 32 minutes, the 'Dogs were on an attacking tear.

The entire squad for Turlock was playing up to par, especially on the outside and the midfielders, anchored by captain Marcus Decouto.

It took just 12 minutes for Turlock to finally get on the scoreboard after half a dozen opportunities prior to that.

Allan Sanchez of Turlock broke the draw with a neatly placed free kick from 37-yards out that took a hop over the CV goalkeeper and went pass the line to make it 2-1.

“Really the whole game I thought hopefully it would be a good learning experience if we came out with that energy and intensity that we had in the second half,” said Sperry. “I think it would have been a different story.”

Turlock created well over a dozen opportunities in the second half, but managed to make just one shot despite dominating the pitch to close out the game.

“We just have to finish, we will be good if we do that,” said Sperry. “We also have to learn to be mentally stronger since we were playing catch-up after they scored first. We lost our cool as well, so we need to take some things from it and learn.”

CV improves to 8-1-1 and their only loss was to No. 6 Galt. Turlock was ranked No. 34 in California prior to Tuesday's contest, according to Maxpreps. Turlock's record is now 4-1-1.

Turlock will take on Del Campo on the road at 11 a.m. today.