It's been quite the turnaround in the last four weeks for the El Cerrito High boys soccer team.
After starting the year with just two wins in their first eight matches, the Gauchos finished off a memorable four-week run Thursday night with a 6-0 home win over Salesian in a Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division game.
El Cerrito has won nine straight games, with this one being perhaps the sweetest. It avenges the Gauchos' only league loss, 1-0 to the Pride on Dec. 10.
"We really wanted it," El Cerrito senior midfielder Luis Moreno said. "Last time we got a little unlucky, and they are hard to beat at their place. This time we wanted revenge, and we got it."
Moreno was one of three Gauchos to score twice, with his goals both coming in the first half. He started the scoring in the 22nd minute and gave El Cerrito a 3-0 lead in the 38th minute. He nearly scored a third goal before being substituted in the 64th minute.
"I've had a bunch of games where I've scored two goals, but the hat trick hasn't come," Moreno said. "Hopefully it's coming."
El Cerrito (11-4-2, 4-1-0 TCAL) got two goals from Brandon Sako, who leads the team with 13, and two from freshman Kevin Navarrete, who now has nine.
Salesian (2-4-1, 2-2-1) didn't have many scoring chances but received a great effort from keeper Efrain Valdez, who had six saves and was under siege all game long.
El Cerrito's Adarius Pickett and De La Salle's Sumner Houston have been named second-team senior All-Americans by Student Sports.
Pickett, a UCLA-bound cornerback, was named the 2013 Bay Area News Group East Bay Football Player of the Year after an outstanding season on both sides of the ball.
The Oregon State-bound Houston was named the Bay Area News Group East Bay Defensive Player of the Year. He had eight sacks, 59 tackles and 14 tackles for loss for the Spartans. Pickett and Houston were named to the team as a defensive back and defensive lineman, respectively.
De La Salle's Kahlil McKenzie was selected as a second-team junior All-American by Student Sports as a defensive lineman.
McKenzie was a first-team All-Bay Area News Group East Bay pick at that position in 2013.