Whitney falls to Ceres in boys soccer playoffs

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Whitney High’s varsity boys soccer team lost 4-1 in Ceres on Tuesday night, in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division IV playoffs. It was the first playoff match in school history for Whitney in boys soccer. Whitney tied El Dorado for the co-title in the Pioneer Valley League but had to play on the road after losing a coin flip that determined which team would be the top seed from the league. “They were a good quality team and they pass the ball well and they were fast and well organized,” said Whitney coach Rich Donofrio about Ceres. “Everybody on that team knew their role and they were very efficient.” Ceres scored seven minutes into the match and again 24 minutes in to go up 2-0. The lead grew to 4-0 in the second half before Whitney scored with about 20 minutes left in the match. Junior Eirik Sterri scored for the Wildcats while junior Michael Swift had the assist. The trip to Ceres was a long one for Whitney. “We had a long bus ride, a lot of major accidents on the way down. It should have been about 1:45 minutes and it took us (twice as long). It takes the steam out of the sails,” Donofrio said. “But it just wasn’t our night . . . It’s definitely a set back but it’s essential for the growth of our program. The first playoff game and facing adversity on the road. It’s bad for our seniors but for our juniors and sophomores and freshmen that we called up, it’s invaluable experience. “The playoffs are an entirely different creature and the game changes. It’s a lot more physical and a lot faster and more intense. We were the second best team on the field.”