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SENIOR SENDOFF

Mankin honors seniors with hat trick in Manteca victory

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SENIOR SENDOFF

Amanda Porter, from left, and Rileigh Mankin congratulate Manteca teammate Renee Munson on her goal in the 34th minute of Wednesday's season-ending contest with visiting rival East Union.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED May 1, 2009 3:36 a.m.
Manteca’s four seniors exited the field with two minutes remaining to much-deserved applause.

Leading up to that point, junior center midfielder Rileigh Mankin, sophomore striker Airenne Curry and freshman goalkeeper Jimi Guibor provided a sparkling glimpse into the future.

Mankin recorded a hat trick and was twice assisted by Curry, who added her own goal, to highlight the Buffaloes’ 5-0 season-ending victory against East Union at Guss Schmiedt Field Thursday.

Guibor recorded her fourth shutout in five matches while picking up eight saves.

“I just wanted us to do it for the seniors,” said Mankin, who finishes the season with 11 goals and seven assists despite missing nearly a month to an ankle injury. “I did it all for them.”

The seniors certainly did their part, with co-captain Taylor Trout and Crystal Fuentes anchoring the back line and Renee Munson and Amanda Porter building impressive attacking sequences from the midfield. Three of the four seniors are four-year varsity players, with Fuentes wrapping up her third and final season.

“We were all excited for this game,” said Trout, the team’s emotional leader. “It’s hard to imagine that this is our last game, but it felt good to go out with the win.”

Porter, who has committed to play for CSU Monterey Bay, chipped in two assists, and Munson’s goal gave the Buffaloes (7-5-2 VOL, 13-7-2) a comfy three-score lead with six minutes left in the first half.

All five of Manteca’s goals were built up beautifully from the midfield, but perhaps the most impressive run came in the 29th minute.

Curry took control of the ball near midfield and dished it off to Porter through a narrow opening between defenders. Porter carried it 10 yards upfield and delivered another pinpoint pass to Mankin, who did the rest herself by juking around East Union goalie Gianna Hedin (three saves) and curling it inside the right post.

First-year Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg fittingly called it a “picture-perfect ending to the season” after posing for pictures with his seniors and the rest of the team.

“When we play like that we can be a tough team to beat,” he said. “Everything just kind of came together today.”

East Union coach Jim Todd took the loss in stride, partly because of the Lancers’ good-natured rivalry with Manteca. But he also knew coming in that his squad, which was ravaged all season by injuries, was outgunned.

Promising sophomore striker Megan Howley missed the season finale because of a knee injury sustained in practice Wednesday, and East Union had a defender carried off the field midway through the second half.

“By the end of the game I only had two people that I could sub in,” Todd said. “I’m just glad the season is over; I don’t think I can handle seeing more injuries.”

With neither team advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs, both coaches are looking forward to seeing what their underclassmen can do next year.

Manteca could return seven juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen in 2010. East Union has nine juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen on its current roster. The Lancers honored seniors Kaci Todd, Rachel Bonds, Julie Lennert, Anny Sandoval, Kyrie Belme and Alyssa Wegner before their final home game against Oakdale Monday.

“We lose six (to graduation) this coming year and we have some talent coming up from the (frosh-soph team) along with a few freshmen that are piquing my interest,” coach Todd said.

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