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Sierra staves off late Oakdale charge

Vanni adds three more to area-leading goal total

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POSTED April 1, 2009 4:03 a.m.
OAKDALE — Sierra was 10 minutes away from recording its 14th shutout of the season, but the Mustangs of Oakdale didn’t go down that easily.

Jenna Micheletti and Sasha Sinkevich scored Oakdale’s only goals in the final 10 minutes of Tuesday’s Valley Oak League match, and the Timberwolf defense tightened back up to hold on for the 3-2 win.

“We got a little lazy in the back and they got the two quick goals, but it’s a win and that’s what’s important,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said.

The win keeps Sierra undefeated at 5-0, 16-0-1 overall. Oakdale suffered its first conference loss, falling to 3-1-1, 8-7-3.

San Francisco State-bound striker Nicole Vanni produced her eighth hat trick of the season and now has an area-best 35 goals.

It was an evenly-played opening half, but it didn’t take Sierra long to establish control. Vanni’s head shot off of Delaine Quaresma’s cross staked the Timberwolves’ early lead just eight minutes in.

After Michaela Scott was fouled in the box eight minutes later, Vanni converted the penalty kick to double the lead.

And in the final minute of the half, Diana Alfaro got past Oakdale’s defensive line and dropped in a perfectly-placed cross from the right side for Vanni to finish near the far post.

“It was a wide open game, but once we scored we took it over,” Pires said. “Nicole had the hot hand, and our team knows how to find her. Michaela’s stat line doesn’t show it, but she and Nicole worked off each other very well today, and our midfield was outstanding.”

Sierra goalie Moriah Fallon had nine saves, and the T’Wolves outshot Oakdale, 19-15.

The win sets up Thursday’s big meeting against three-time defending champion Sonora (5-0, 11-0-1) at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

“We just got done with one big game and now we have another one,” Pires said. “Sonora is still the champion and deservedly so. Until somebody knocks them off, they’re the team to beat.”

The contest kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

Manteca 4, Central Valley 1

In Ceres, defensive stopper Taylor Trout played a key role on offense, scoring once and assisting both of Airenne Curry’s goals.

Brittany Costa tied it at 1 in the 14th minute. Renee Munson and Abigail Rosas each chimed in with an assist.

Even with starting center midfielder Rileigh Mankin out for possibly three weeks with an ankle injury, the Buffaloes (3-2, 9-4) fared well minus their top playmaker.

“Taylor Trout was able to get more involved offensively, and we had some girls step up and in spots,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenburg said. “Overall, I’m pretty happy with our play.”

Freshman goalkeeper Jimi Guibor had a busy day in front of the net, racking up 17 saves. The much-improved Hawks (1-3-1, 4-6-3) outshot Manteca, 19-15.

Manteca tangles with Oakdale at home Thursday.

Ceres 1, East  Union 0

In Ceres, the favored but struggling Lancers (1-4, 5-8-3) allowed the game’s only goal in the 17th minute and couldn’t drive one in of their own despite an overwhelming 14-4 advantage in shots.

The loss was East Union’s fourth straight, and dangerous Central Valley is next.

Sonora 8, Weston Ranch 0

In Sonora, the Wildcats racked up seven first-half goals. Weston Ranch keeper Mayra Ambriz went down with an injury, but the Cougars were able to hold Sonora to just one score in the second.

“The whole team played outstanding in the second half,” Cougars head coach Carlos Gaspar said. “They tried very hard and did a good job.”

— Jonamar Jacinto

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