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Sierra avoids another draw at East Union

Second-half comeback capped in final seven minutes

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Sierra avoids another draw at East Union

Sierra forward David Reyes charges down the touchline with East Union defender Marc LaRocque on his heels.


POSTED September 22, 2009 11:26 p.m.
Ricky Pacheco saw an opening and reacted.

Sierra teammate David Reyes threw it in from the right sideline and connected with Pacheco, who quickly turned and knifed his way through the East Union defense.

Pacheco set himself up at the top of the 18-yard line and had his eyes set on another opening. He delivered the ball low and inside of the right post to sneak the game-winning goal past keeper Joe Modesto in the 73rd minute.

The Timberwolves struck again with two minutes left to secure a 3-1 come-from-behind victory Tuesday at East Union’s Dino Cunial Field.

“I saw an open gap,” Pacheco said of his scoring sequence. “Once I saw it I just exploded through it. On 1-v-1’s, coach always says to take it.”

Braian Gomez tied the game in the fifth minute of the second half off a nice feed from Reyes, and Gomez assisted the insurance goal to Oscar Garcia.

After tying defending champion Central Valley and Oakdale in the last week, the early-season victory is key in keeping Sierra (2-0-2, 8-5-2 overall) in pace with the rest of the crowded top half of the Valley Oak League.

“It’s a race right now, and anybody can win,” Sierra coach Jose Montes said. “It seems that every day there’s a surprise as to who won and who lost. I keep telling these guys that as long as we keep adding points we’ll be all right.”

East Union (2-2, 5-5-1) struck first in the 37th minute when Juan Vazquez finished off a nice sequence started by Alexander Hernandez. But the Lancers had many opportunities, including a few 1-on-1’s, leading up to that point but couldn’t put them away.

East Union outshot its rival 9-5 in the first half, but its attempts were either stuffed by Sierra goalie Luis Garcia (four saves) or rolled and sailed just a few feet wide of the posts.

“The problem is that we didn’t finish, and we let them back in the game,” East Union coach Clarence Goes said. “We started to get frustrated up top. We were all over them.”

The match was a heated one from the start. Two players from each side were issued yellow cards, and there were 38 fouls called.

“I knew they were going to come out to play,” Montes said. “It’s always a battle with them. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, it’s always a battle. It was a physical game, and we have to expect that when we play a good team like EU.”

Sierra expects another battle Thursday when it plays host to Ceres, while first-year varsity Lathrop visits East Union. Both games are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

Weston Ranch 2, Sonora 1

At Weston Ranch, the Cougars (2-2, 4-6-1) rebounded well from Monday’s loss to Manteca.

Sonora took a one-goal lead into halftime, but David Molina led Weston Ranch’s comeback. Molina first hooked up with Benjamin Gonzales, who put away a cornerkick cross with a header. Molina punched in the deciding goal minutes later.

“In the second half we were a different team,” Weston Ranch coach Carlos Gaspar said. “We played well after (Monday), but we’re still not capitalizing on our shots. We just can’t miss those easy looks.”

Central Valley 5, Manteca 0

In Ceres, Manteca (2-2, 3-8) battled tough save for a few breakdowns early and late in both halves.

Central Valley stuck in its first goal inside the opening two minutes and doubled the lead in the final two of the half. The Hawks put it out of reach by scoring twice within the first three minutes of the second half.

“The team was a little disappointed with our showing today,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “They lacked confidence and it showed, because we played a little timid. After the game they realized that they played a good team, but one that we can play with.”

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