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Howley scores two, assists another for EU

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East Union's Ode Castillo (5) joins in on the celebration after Jessika Villegas' goal gave the Lancers a 2-0 lead.


POSTED April 13, 2010 2:52 a.m.
The East Union High soccer team’s potentially explosive attack was given a wake-up call when it suffered its first Valley Oak League loss by a 2-0 count last Thursday against rival Manteca.

The Lancers bounced back Monday by soundly defeating Sonora 4-0 at Dino Cunial Field to begin the second half of conference action.

Junior standout Megan Howley keyed the victory with two goals and an assist.
“It was a big difference,” Howley said. “I think the Manteca game was just an off night, and this is what we can do. We came back and played the way we know how today.”

It was the best all-around effort produced by East Union (6-1-2, 11-3-2 overall) in weeks, says coach Jim Todd. EU opened the league season with a 1-0 win over Sonora on the road but struggled mightily on the offensive end where 32 other shots were off target.

East Union was more selective with its shots Monday, outshooting the Wildcats (3-5-1), 24-2. Sonora, to its credit, had just one substitute available and did a much better job time around of keeping most of the Lancers’ attempts, albeit open ones, outside of its own penalty box.

But when the Lancers did find their way inside the 18-yard line, they converted their few shots from point-blank.

“I just felt like this was an entirely different team,” Todd said. “This was a team that I saw (earlier in the league season). We moved the ball well.  … and that’s been missing.

“We (recently) had a couple sloppy wins, then the loss. But a loss every now and then is good for you. It gives you a chance to really analyze what you’re doing wrong.”

Todd said the strategy was to wear down Sonora’s understaffed roster with precise passing, and with that came their two first-half goals.

Ode Castillo sent a through ball to Howley for her first goal in the 15th minute. Howley later centered a well-time pass to Jesika Villegas for a breakaway goal in the 26th minute.

East Union’s second-half scores came off fortunate bounces. Just three minutes into the second half, defender ReAnna Schmitt took a shot from roughly 30 yards out, and it found the left panel after deflecting off a Sonora player.

Howley capped the final score with 12 minutes to go after a cornerkick from Adriana Villasenor. The cross floated dangerously close to the goal line, and Sonora keeper Serena Deininger slapped the ball away.

Howley played it off the bounce and lofted it back toward the goal, and it caromed off the left post before settling into the back of the net.

Kayla Lamont had an opportunity to extend the lead after stripping the ball away from a Sonora defender and breaking away without contention, but Deininger made a diving, one-handed stop for one of her eight saves.

On the other end of the field, EU goalie Taylor Maruca was hardly challenged thanks to the hustling play of Kianna Lamont and Schmitt, who thwarted several breakaway attempts mounted by Sonora’s fleet-footed Tori Selesia.

East Union, which entered Monday’s match in third place and trailed league-leading Manteca by four points in the standings, locks up with fourth-place Oakdale (4-1-3) on the road Thursday.

The two teams previously battled to a scoreless tie, but Oakdale lost to Manteca 1-0 and tied Sonora 1-1 last week to lose ground in what has become a heated four-way race for the championship.

East Union 4, Sonora 0

After tying Sonora 1-1 in their first matchup, East Union (3-4-1) dominated in the rematch Monday behind two goals from Shayn Nash.

Vanessa Carpenter pitched in with a goal and an assist, and Jagjeet Dhillon added her own score. Taylor Baum and Karen Vera each had an assist.

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