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Weston Ranch puts up fight in second half

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Weston Ranch puts up fight in second half

East Union striker Alejandro Hernandez starts his run with a header as Weston Ranch sweeper Eduardo Pacheco marks him.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED September 29, 2009 3:26 a.m.

WESTON RANCH — East Union had five open looks at Weston Ranch’s goal within the first 15 minutes of the second half but couldn’t build on its 2-0 halftime cushion.

Then something clicked for the host Cougars.

Weston Ranch cut the lead in half when Christian Ascencio finished off a well-placed cross from B.J. Gonzales in the 61st minute to put a scare into the Lancers, who held on for a 3-1 victory.

Alejandro Hernandez iced it for East Union (4-2 Valley Oak League, 7-5-1 overall) in stoppage time, beating Weston Ranch defender Eduardo Pacheco to a 50-50 ball and turning the hustle play into his second goal of the match.

Juan Vazquez also scored for the Lancers, helping the team mount its two-goal lead in the sixth minute.

“It was more nerve-wracking than it should have been,” East Union coach Clarence Goes said. “We had a lot of opportunities to put away but didn’t put them away, and we let them back in the game.

“We were doing a lot of ball watching. It was scary for a while until (Hernandez) put that last goal in.”

Juan Pablo Palomera capped East Union’s early second-half run of near misses in the 53rd minute, when Hernandez, working from the left flank, dished it past Weston Ranch keeper Jesus Pacheco for an open-net opportunity. Palomera, though, pushed it wide of the left post.

Then Weston Ranch (2-4, 3-8-1) took over.

Lancer goalkeeper Joe Modesto and the defense were pressured over the next 20 minutes. Weston Ranch’s best opportunity to tie it in the later stages of the second half never came about after standout sophomore forward David Molina was taken down in the penalty box but wasn’t awarded the penalty kick.

“The ball was on their side in the second half, but we let goals in that we shouldn’t have,” Weston Ranch coach Carlos Gaspar said. “They played well and were with them the whole time, we just had bad breaks kill us.”

While Weston Ranch’s turnaround in the second half deserves credit, East Union can’t afford to have similar letdowns the rest of the week.
The Lancers host Central Valley, the VOL’s defending champion and only team remaining without a loss, today and crosstown rival Manteca on Thursday.

“We have some tough teams next, so we need to pick it up,” Goes said. “We cannot play like this against either of them, because it’s not going to work.”

Sonora 3, Manteca 0
In Sonora, the Buffaloes (2-3, 3-9) struggled to keep up with the Dunlavy Field’s artificial surface but still had chances to score. Sonora jumped ahead 2-0 by the 20-minute mark.

“It was 2-0 real quick, and we always seem to have trouble adjusting to their turf,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “Once we adjusted to the speed of the game, we did fairly well.”

To contact Jonamar Jacinto, e-mail jjacinto@mantecabulletin.com, or call (209) 249-3538.

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