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T’Wolves clinch section playoff berth

Pacheco records hat trick

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T’Wolves clinch section playoff berth

Sierra High's Oscar Garcia gets his head on the 50-50 ball in front of Lathrop's Saul Ruelas at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium Thursday.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED October 30, 2009 2:57 a.m.
Jose Montes’ goal for Sierra’s Valley Oak League match with district rival Lathrop was simple: No injuries, no cards.

The Timberwolves routed the first-year varsity Spartans 8-0 Thursday behind Ricardo Pacheco’s three goals and one assist at their own Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium while clinching the conference’s No. 3 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff berth.

Sierra (10-2-3, 15-7-3 overall) made its last section appearance in 2006, when it claimed the VOL championship and lost in the postseason finals.

Two one-goal losses to Ceres and a pair of ties to league-leading Central Valley, the defending champion, keeps the Timberwolves out of the running for the title and the second seed with one match to go. Ceres and crosstown rival Central Valley will tangle for the crown next Tuesday for the second straight season.

 “You look at the record that we have — two losses and we’re in third place,” he said. “That tells you how competitive our league is, so this is a huge accomplishment.”

Montes started 11 seniors — sans leading scorer Braian Gomez, who was serving an accumulated yellow-card suspension — on Thursday, and had a good look at his underclassmen in the second half. All told, the Timberwolves out shot Lathrop, which wraps up its inaugural varsity season 1-15 in league, 30-3.

Luis Garcia, Sierra’s starting goalkeeper, and Cesar Alba each contributed two goals and an assist to the cause. Frosh-soph call-up Emmanuel Elijah recorded his first varsity goal in the 64th minute.

Sierra hosts Weston Ranch Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to close the regular season. The section playoffs begin Nov. 10.

The Timberwolves will draw the Capital Valley Conference champion and will hit the road for the first round. With two games left in the CVC season, Dixon (8-0-4, 11-1-5) leads River City of West Sacramento (7-0-5, 13-2-5) by a narrow margin.

“Our goal from the beginning of the year was to make the playoffs, and hopefully everything will fall into place,” Montes said. “I feel that I have a team that can make it to the section finals.”
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