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Lancers’ effort the big difference in win over Sierra

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East Union High's Alex Dias controls the ball in front of Sierra High's Nicholas Gonzales during Wednesday's cross-town soccer match.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED September 16, 2010 2:53 a.m.
It wasn’t the opening whistle that got the East Union Lancers going in their Valley Oak League showdown with Sierra High Wednesday; it was the Timberwolves netting the game’s first goal in a 2-1 come-from-behind win over host Sierra.

Sierra (1-1, 4-3) raced to an early 1-0 lead when Jose Acosta effortlessly nailed a free kick in the 19th minute, leaving East Union keeper Alfredo Solorzano nothing to do but watch it. The goal gave Sierra the first lead of the game, but in return, it seemingly woke up the Lancers.

Just six minutes later East Union was on the board. The Lancers took advantage of a quick throw in and Dante Pasquini gathered it in in front of the goal and didn’t miss.

“I knew East Union, and I told my guys to watch for those throw-in’s,” Sierra head coach Jose Montes said. “We knew that they could throw the ball very good, and that it was killed us today.

“Two throw in’s and their back in the game; and they end up winning the game.”

The Lancers would go into intermission with a 1-1 tie, yet throughout the entire second half East Union’s relentless effort was that of a squad trailing 2-0 with 10 minutes to play.

“I think that this game was really competitive,” East Union coach Allan Green said. “We play a little bit of a different style than they play, and I think we are little more willing to play one-touch.

“They really rely on their midfielders; we have more players that can do more with individual play.”

Sierra was in the contest up through its final shot which sailed over the cross bar as the whistle sounded, but the Timberwolves lacked the intensity to assert themselves as the more dominant club. Once East Union posted the game’s final score on a goal from captain Victor Garibay in the 54th minute, Sierra proved incapable of forming retaliation.

“To be honest, I don’t know if the tournament we had over the weekend had affected them,” Montes said of his team. “But we are not playing like we should. We definitely can, there’s no doubt in my mind, but we’re not showing it.”

East Union’s play elevated when they recaptured the lead. Its midfielders did an outstanding job of attacking the ball, leaving the playmakers with a host of opportunities to pad the lead. The Timberwolves were able to get off back-to-back shots at the 73-minute mark, but Solorzano was on point, saving a brilliant touch shot from Acosta with one hand.

The physical play proved to be typical for the two clubs’ matchups in recent memory. A pair of yellow cards were displayed, one for each team, both of which came in the second half. Sierra’s intensity was short lived and now has the club in need of changes early in the VOL season.

“You can do whatever you like in the preseason,” Montes said. “You can look sharp and take care of business, but when you suit up to play your rival, for bragging rights as big as this, some kids get emotional and they don’t play with the intensity.

“We have a lot of young kids, who don’t understand that big games like East Union and Manteca, you have to come to play.”

The Lancers (2-0, 4-2-2) will try and remain perfect in VOL play when they travel to Stockton to take on Weston Ranch Monday, while Sierra will travel across town to meet up with the Manteca Buffalos.
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