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Sierra stumbles in Sonora

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POSTED October 21, 2010 3:00 a.m.

The Sierra High soccer program stepped into the driver’s seat for the Valley Oak League championship with last week’s win over Manteca, but the road got a little bumpy Wednesday as the Timberwolves were stopped in Sonora 1-0 by the Wildcats in league action.

Sierra (8-2-2 VOL, 15-7-3 overall) will have to put the minor speed-bump behind them in a hurry and try and close out the league schedule in a manner that will give the club momentum heading towards a likely Sac-Joaquin Section postseason berth.

“One of the things that Sierra has not done yet is win a banner for the section championship,” Sierra head coach Jose Montes said. “So if things fall into place for a VOL title that would be good, but we are looking for that banner.

“Before we can look at that, we have to make sure efforts like this don’t happen again.”

Sierra ran into a Sonora squad that plays at a high level on its own pitch. The Timberwolves knew the challenge would be steep in Sonora, but not putting a goal in the net made an already difficult challenge, impossible.

“We were not hitting our targets, we were not playing as a team,” Montes said. “And you cannot play like that and expect to win. We have to give credit to Sonora, they came out with their A-game and executed when they needed to, and we didn’t.”

Sierra will have to close out VOL play with strong showings against Weston Ranch and Kimball, both of which will be played on the road.

Weston Ranch 0, Oakdale 0

The Cougars are trying to rekindle the hopes of their season, putting together an impressive showing in a nil-nil tie with the Mustangs Wednesday.

Weston Ranch (5-5-2, 8-6-4) can practically look at its effort as a win, stopping the Mustangs from pulling away while taking control of the close to its season.

“Anything besides a loss is a victory,” Weston Ranch head coach Carlos Gaspar said. “But I do wish we were able to get one more point out of that.

“I have to give them credit, it was a good game.”

The Cougars will try and grab their sixth VOL win when they travel to Tracy to take on the Kimball Jaguars Monday.

Manteca 1, Lathrop 0

The Buffaloes (7-3-2, 10-8-3) know what they need to do to extend their season beyond the VOL schedule, and although it was not their best effort, a 1-0 win over the Spartans keeps Manteca right where they want to be.

“We talked a little bit, and we know that we had to win these next three games in a row,” Manteca head coach Justin Coenenberg said. “I’m pretty sure we are in third place, tied with Oakdale, so we’ve talked about wanting to be in a place where we control our own destiny and we’re in that place right now.”

Manteca scored in the 21st minute, when Jose Maravilla nailed a header off an assist from Manuel Nuno after a set play following a direct-kick.

The Buffaloes will have East Union and Oakdale to close out their regular season, giving the team ample motivation to finish up strong.

Weston Ranch 4, Oakdale 4
The Cougars squandered a pseudo-comfortable 4-0 lead, surrendering four unanswered second-half goals to the Mustangs in the VOL tie.

William Giron scored on an assist from Victor Trejo and three minutes later Yazen Saleh netted a shot on an assist from Giron. Marcos Jaimes would add the Cougars third goal before Trejo would close with his second.

Manteca 2, Lathrop 1
The Buffaloes upped their mark to 8-1-3 after a 2-1 win over the Spartans Wednesday.

Manteca got a pair of goals from Luis Ayala, and teammate Nacho Valdovinos provided the assist. Manteca will try and continue its winning ways Monday, when they host Oakdale.
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