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Cougars can’t close the deal

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POSTED September 5, 2010 2:31 a.m.

The first 20 minutes seemed to be scripting perfect for the Weston Ranch Cougars, but a colossal collapse to a quality Los Banos squad left the Cougars on the short-end of the pursuit for the 3rd Annual Buff Cup championship. Om a 4-1 loss Saturday.

The Cougars opened the contest playing on all cylinders, turning in the game’s first goal and asserting themselves as the team to beat. Only Los Banos proved to have more than enough fight, mounting a ferocious comeback led by three unanswered first half goals.

Weston Ranch went into halftime toting a 3-1 deficit, and could do nothing to pull themselves back even with the Tigers.

“We just couldn’t hold on,” Weston Ranch head coach Carlos Gaspar said. “We did what we could, but when I knew that when the lead was gone, it deflated everybody.

“I was happy with the opportunity to play everybody in the pressure situation to see what they can do.”

The Cougars got to the title game after beating Ripon in the opener and then taking down Bret Harte to earn a berth. Los Banos cruised into the championship with a win over host Manteca, a win over Livingston High.

“We came in confident to this tournament knowing that we had a good team,” Los Banos head coach Larry Goodger said. “We had a lot of confidence after the Manteca win, so I told our guys that we have this tournament.”

Weston Ranch has no reason to feel discouraged, Los Banos is an above average squad, hoping to make a lengthy run into the 2010 postseason.

“They had weapons and they were a very strong team,” Gaspar said. “We kept up with them as much as we could and we had some opportunities, we just couldn’t capitalize.”

Both Francisco Portillo and goalie Jesus Pacheco were honored with spots on the Buff Cup All-Tournament team.
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