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East Union’s Soto earns all-league MVP

VOL champion Sierra gets one 1st-team selection, eight on 2nd team

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East Union’s Soto earns all-league MVP

All-Valley Oak League MVP Oscar Soto of East Union (7) looks to score against Lathrop’s second-team goalie Will Smith and honorable mention defender Juan Luna (4) on Feb. 5.

POSTED March 7, 2018 2:19 a.m.

The spoils did not go to the victor when it comes to the All-Valley Oak League boys soccer team selections.
Sierra (11-1-2, 15-5-3 overall) captured the VOL title this past winter season but only had one player voted onto the first team, while runner-up East Union (10-1-3, 19-5-4) had five all-league honorees including MVP Oscar Soto.
It was Soto who anchored the Lancers’ dynamic attacking triumvirate also featuring Jesus Hurtado and Jacob Garcia. Soto was at his best in league play, when he scored 11 of his 13 overall goals and nine of 16 assists.
“He is individually probably one of the best high school players I’ve coached,” East Union coach Ronnie Green said of Soto. “He spearheaded that triangle we had. On the ball, he has the ability to maintain possession with multiple players around him. He’s just a very solid player all the way around.”
Hurtado finished as East Union’s top goal scorer with 20 and accounted for three of his team’s four in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Garcia contributed 16 goals, and both players recorded 16 assists. The Lancers were the only area squad to advance past the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, losing to eventual Division III champion and No. 3 seeded Antelope 3-2 in a quarterfinal thriller.
East Union senior Trent Rivera was named all-league goalkeeper after allowing just 15 goals in 23 regular-season matches and averaging 4.4 saves. He racked up 27 saves in the two postseason contests. Defender Edwin Mata was also selected to the first team.
Junior midfielder Alex Cervantes is Sierra’s lone all-league representative, and Joe Pires was named Coach of the Year. The Timberwolves were upset by Mira Loma 2-1 in the opening round of the SJS Division III playoffs.
Manteca’s Alex Herrera made the first-team list along with Lathrop seniors Christian Cardenas (two goals, five assists) and Ronaldo Macias (14g, 5a) and Robert Gonzalez (8g, 10a) and Devon Alvarenga (12g, 4a) of Weston Ranch (7-6-1, 7-14-3).
Sierra was better represented on the All-VOL second team with eight players making it, including freshman goalie Luis Acosta and freshman defender Jordan Shinn. Forwards Miguel Villasenor and Carlos Mendez, midfielders Alex Parra and Joel Mandoriao, and defenders Tristan Gonzalez and Oscar Guitron round out the Timberwolves’ honorees.
Other second-team selections from the area: Weston Ranch midfielders Jesus Espinoza, Elmber Figueroa and Vidal Garcia; East Union midfielders Tyler Soulier and Jonathan Quintana and defender Oscar Avalos; and Lathrop keeper Will Smith.

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