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Vanni breaks single- season goals record as T’Wolves down EU

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Michaela Scott scored two goals and had two assists in the T'Wolves' win.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED April 17, 2009 2:44 a.m.
It was a match that everyone expected to be ugly.
It turned out to be anything but.
Leaving the back-and-forth banter to everyone on the periphery, the nationally ranked Sierra High Timberwolves went out and did what they do best Thursday night at Dino Cunial Field, and senior striker Nicole Vanni took center stage.
Scoring four of the Timberwolves’ seven goals, Vanni put an exclamation point on the shutout victory over East Union by breaking the Sierra High single-season goals record.
Vanni, who sent in goals 40 through 44, topped Katelyn Quaresma’s 2004 single-season mark of 40, and pulled to within five goals of breaking Cherie Early’s career goals mark of 101.
But as Vanni, Sierra head coach Manuel Pires and East Union head coach Jim Todd all pointed out in their postgame comments, the Timberwolves are anything but a one-woman show.
Michaela Scott was nothing short of brilliant up top, playing the yin to Vanni’s yang with precision and turning in a pair of goals to complement two assists.
 “They work so well together, it’s unbelievable,” Pires said of the chemistry between Vanni and Scott. “They just feed off each other and they really make our offense click.”
Scott broke a scoreless tie in the seventh minute after Lacy Vaughan fed Delaine Quaresma from the wing. Sierra’s center-mid then sent a beautiful through to Scott who dribbled with all kinds of time from seven yards out before poking it past Taylor Maruca.
Vanni collected the first of two assists seven minutes later when Maruca went to the turf nearside and Vanni worked a far-post cross to a streaking Quaresma.
Kayla Cody then fed a through to Vanni for her first goal, a breakaway one-timer in the 21st minute.
“(Starting keeper) Gianna (Hedin) rolled her ankle, so we had to pull up a goalie and that was Taylor,” Todd said. “She did well at the start, but I didn’t want her to get shell-shocked and once they got three in we had to make the switch.
“But Gianna played well, she had several good stops.”
None of Hedin’s 11 saves were more impressive than in the 30th minute with Vanni and Scott working alone in the box. Scott scooted a cross on the ground to Vanni who blasted a shot into the diving arms of East Union’s young keeper.
Scott and Vanni would have their revenge moments later, however, as Scott hooked up her buddy with the record-breaker at the 31-minute, 56-second mark.
“(Scott and I) were working so well in combining with the outside-mids,” Vanni said. “Getting in and just breaking down every little opportunity we had. And not just the top, but all the way starting from the back we worked the ball so well.
“It starts all over the field.”
Both Stephanie Vanni and Scott assisted Nicole’s third goal 61 minutes in, and Vanni made it four straight with 12 minutes left when Sydnee Koscielcki sent her a near-post cross that Vanni tapped over Hedin’s head and kissed off the bottom the crossbar.
Scott capped the scoring two minutes later off a through from Vanni.
“Obviously, I was really happy with the way we played today,” Pires said. “This is a tough place to get a win. We were very focused and ready to make plays. We made the plays and got the goals that we needed.
“I thought the team played outstanding.”
The Lancers got off three shots to Sierra’s 31, and Vaughan preserved the Timberwolves’ 20th shutout with two minutes left when she raced back to deflect an EU open-net attempt out of bounds.
“That was great,” Pires said with a smile.
Sierra (10-0 Valley Oak League, 21-0-1) travels to Central Valley Tuesday.
That Lancers (3-6 VOL, 7-10-3) head to Sonora.
Manteca 4, Weston Ranch 0
The Cougars were outstanding in the first half, playing to a scoreless tie.
But Manteca broke it open in the second half behind two Renee Munson goals (Brianna Flynn, Airenne Curry assists).
Taylor Trout headed in a picture-perfect corner from Jessica Reeder and Curry capped the scoring in the 75th minute with help from Trout.
“We were flat in the first half but we bounced back,” Manteca head coach Justin Coenenberg said. “It was like we were a new team in the second.”
Weston Ranch keeper Mayra Ambriz had 12 saves.
“We played really well,” Cougars head coach Carlos Gaspar said. “But we hit the post three or four times. We just can’t convert.”
Manteca (5-4-1 VOOL, 11-5-2) travels to Ceres Tuesday, while the Cougars (0-10 VOL, 4-14) host Oakdale.
To contact Brandon Petersen, e-mail  HYPERLINK "", or call (209) 249-3543.

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