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Gomez scores twice, assists another to lead Sierra

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Gomez scores twice, assists another to lead Sierra

East Union sweeper Jorge Saldate clears it away from danger as Sierra forward Braian Gomez charges in.


POSTED October 21, 2009 2:52 a.m.
Sierra striker Braian Gomez picked up two more goals to stretch his area-leading total to 27 in Tuesday’s 3-0 Valley Oak League home victory over rival East Union.

He also picked up his third yellow card of the regular season, meaning he will be suspended for the Timberwolves’ big match against Ceres on the road Thursday. Sierra had three different players booked for yellow cards in the second half.

“That’s a big loss,” Sierra coach Jose Montes said, “but other players are going to have to come up and show what they have.”

The free-spirited Gomez, who felt his infraction was unwarranted, was just happy to be able to contribute to his team’s win, which keeps it a point behind second-place Ceres in the standings. Sierra improved to 8-1-3 in league, and 13-6-3 overall. The loss will likely hurt East Union (6-5-1, 9-8-2) in the long run.

“This is our home field, and we can’t let teams come in here and get a win,” he said. “Plus, this was a big win for us to make the section (playoffs).”

Tuesday’s contest was a big turnaround from their previous meeting at East Union’s Dino Cunial Field on Sept. 22. The Lancers controlled the entire first half and took an early 1-0 lead but ended up losing 3-1.

East Union couldn’t get into a groove coming off a loss to Ceres Monday, and it was forced to play a different lineup with players lost to academic ineligibility.

“It’s not just that, they were on and were not,” East Union coach Clarence Goes said. “That was basically it. The guys just weren’t in rhythm and never got into the game. They were always a step behind. I have to give Sierra credit, they were on today. That was the difference.”

Sierra’s energy level was never matched from the start and came out firing on all cylinders. Gomez sent a nicely-placed cross to Oscar Garcia for the first goal in the 21st minute. Gomez netted his scores in the 32nd and 55th minutes.

“We wanted to put pressure on them from the beginning, and that’s what (Gomez) does best — he can put pressure on the defense with his play,” Montes said.

Montes was especially pleased with the play of his defense, led by sweeper Irving Hernandez and goalkeeper Luis Garcia. Garcia did well to preserve the shutout, finishing with six saves — three of which were deflections from point-blank attempts.

While Sierra dominated possession throughout, it only held a 17-15 shot advantage.

“The defense set the tone, and our goalkeeper made big saves,” Montes said. “Those (East Union shots) could have changed the momentum and determined the outcome.”

Manteca 3, Central Valley 2
In Ceres, the Buffaloes (11-0, 15-0 overall) kept their perfect season intact but had to hold off a late Central Valley charge in doing so. The second-place Hawks (7-2-1) scored both of their goals in the second half, the second of which came in the final minutes.

Giovanni Marin scored twice and assisted his brother Ricardo’s first-half goal. Cesar Reyes and Isaac Jiminez each contributed an assist.

East Union 3, Sierra 2
At Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, the Lancers (7-2-1) moved into a second-place tie with Central Valley with goals coming from Jairo Baires, Colin Scholl and Augustine Solis.
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