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Timberwolves building on way to VOL opener

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POSTED September 10, 2010 3:10 a.m.

The Sierra Timberwolves continue to take steps towards building a Valley Oak League contender, stopping the host Tracy Bulldogs 2-1 Thursday in non-league action.

Sierra will close out the remainder of the preseason schedule this weekend with a tournament, bringing the club to its VOL opener against the Oakdale Mustangs.

“We still have a tournament to go to this weekend, so we are not done with our preseason,” Sierra head coach Jose Montes said. “But I am pleased with our work so far. I know that we are not going to peak too early, we still have a lot of work to do.”

The Timberwolves’ true test will come immediately on the VOL schedule with Oakdale. The Mustangs are 3-2-1 thus far this preseason, but are looked on as the team to beat in league play. Getting a win against a solid Mustang squad will reveal a lot about Sierra’s season-long expectations.

“I only have two starters returning from a season ago,” Montes said. “So I can’t look at last season and gauge this team on that. I have young players and in some big games they are going to have to earn their minutes.

“I have to get those players mentally prepared for the VOL, because the VOL is one of the toughest leagues in our area.”

Elk Grove 5, East Union 0

The Lancers made the trip north short-staffed and it showed, getting smashed by the Thundering Herd Thursday to close out the preseason schedule.

East Union will open the Valley Oak League season Monday against Lathrop, and will hope to put a dismal performance in Elk Grove behind them.

“Compared to some of the other teams that we have played, I don’t think they were as good as some of the teams,” East Union coach Al Green said. “Like Turlock or a Golden Valley, but they beat us so what can I say?”

The Lancers will not have a walk in the park against the Spartans, who have put together a decent preseason, including a runner-up finish in last weekend’s Timberwolves Cup at Sierra High.

The two clubs are scheduled for a 4 p.m. first whistle at East Union.

Hughson 6, Ripon Christian 0

The Huskies jumped all over their former Trans Valley League mates, leading 4-0 at the half and never relinquishing their grasp.

“They have been known to work really good together over the last couple of years,” Ripon Christian head coach Keith Terpsma said. “And we saw that today. They scored two quick goals early, and it is hard to turn around from something like that.”

Ripon Christian (1-2) will kick off its one-day Jerry Terpsma Soccer Classic Saturday with an opening round contest with Forest Lake Christian. First whistle is scheduled for 9 a.m.

Downey 4, Manteca 0
The Buffaloes’ struggles continued, as they got hammered by Downey High 4-0 Thursday in their second to last preseason matchup.

Manteca (3-5) was able to manage some productivity on the offensive side of the field, but could not keep pace with the Knights, getting outshot, 31-20. The Buffaloes will try and close out their preseason schedule with a victory when they play host to the Tokay Tigers at 4 p.m.

Franklin 5, Lathrop 0
The Spartans found themselves in the midst of a competitive match, trailing just 1-0 at the half before faltering over the final 40 minutes of play in a 5-0 loss Thursday to Franklin of Stockton.

“They are a pretty good team and they have some good things going over there,” Lathrop head coach Ryan Biederman said. “We just got too tired in that second half.”

The Spartans will try and get back on track Saturday when they compete in the Ripon Christian Jerry Terpsma Soccer Classic in Ripon.
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