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Sierra battles back from 2-goal deficits to tie Manteca

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Manteca’s Alexa Mayen clears the ball away from Sierra forward Yasmin Ballew in a Valley Oak League first-place showdown Thursday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

POSTED February 2, 2018 2:05 a.m.

Sierra still has not lost a girls Valley Oak League girls soccer game this season, but after Thursday night, the Timberwolves have not won every outing, either.
Manteca came into Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium and twice took two-goal leads, only for Sierra to battle back each time with the game eventually ending in a hard-fought 4-4 tie.
“It was exciting,” Buffaloes coach Justin Coenenberg said. “Obviously, they are a very good team. (Jadyn) Shinn is tough to stop. The ways she can turn makes it difficult. But I am happy with the way our girls played.
“We felt better coming into this game then we did the last time because we have played them once. We changed things up a little bit and felt it worked for the most part. Even when we were up by two goals two different times we were not going to sit back and play too much defense because we thought it was important for us to stay on the attack.”
The Buffaloes (8-1-2 VOL, 16-4-2 overall) took a 1-0 lead 11 minutes in when Kaitlynn Funsch took advantage of a rebound from Kaley Miller’s shot and punched it into an open net.
“I saw the goalie was out and I knew I had to shoot it,” Funtsch said. “Luckily I was there to be open with a perfect opportunity.”
With 10 minutes left in the first half, Alexa Mayen’s 19-yard direct kick put Manteca up 2-0. After Sierra (10-0-1, 19-0-2) tied the game in the second half at 2-2, Kaley Miller scored on an assist from Melissa Poncini in the 50th minute and on an unassisted goal in the 58th minute that put Manteca ahead 4-2.
“We were tied,” Miller said. “And that sparked a fire. I didn’t want to let down and I didn’t want to lose to Sierra and we didn’t.”
Trailing 2-0 to start the second half, Shinn erased that deficit with two goals in less than a minute. Jasmine Ballew assisted her in the 46th minute with a goal that bounced down from the crossbar and in and before the ink was dry on the score pads Shinn took a pass from Tianna Cello and bulled her way through the Buffaloes defense to tie the game at 2-2.
“We were down 2-0,” Shinn said. “I could kind of tell we were starting to get down a little bit, but we talked it out as a team and kept communicating out there. Everyone put their full effort into it.
“There were a lot of good passes that got to me up top. I didn’t want to lose and was doing anything I could. It was just a great game.”
Trailing 4-2 with 15 minutes left in the game Shinn took a through ball from Callie Crain and punched it in to make the score 4-3. In the 70th minute Ballew tied the game when she covered a corner kick from Jasmine Loaiza and blasted it in the net for the final score of 4-4.
“It was a good pass on that corner kick,” Ballew said. “That is something we have been working on at practice. I just got a foot on it with a nice touch and got it in the back of the net.”
The Timberwolves had their opportunities with 18 total shots and 12 on goal, but Manteca goalie Aimee Meier posted eight saves.
“Their goalie did a good job,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said. “She was in the right spot to stop a lot of our shots, and then we had a couple of breakdowns.
“But I am really proud of the way our team recovered being down twice by two against a great team like this. It was a great, great comeback.”

Sierra 2, Manteca 0
Kayla Riley scored an unassisted goal for the Timberwolves and Melanie Nguyen assisted Amanda Wright for the other Sierra goal.

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