It was a tale of two halves Tuesday with Manteca winning the first half and Sierra the second but neither won the game as the two dueled to a 1-1 tie in Valley Oak League soccer action at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
“I thought we definitely controlled the first half,” Buffaloes coach Justin Coeneneberg said. “I thought they definitely controlled the first 20 minutes of the second half for sure. We came out a little flat and they kind of took it to us for the first 20 but I think that the second 20 of the second half was pretty even back and forth.
“We had two really legitimate scoring opportunities and in games like this – big games where the competition is good – you don’t get a lot of opportunities and you have to put those away. We will keep working and keep improving. There are some things we need to improve on as a team and I guarantee we will fix those for the next game.”
Leah Manuleleua got Manteca (2-0-1 VOL, 11-1-1) on the board in the 34th minute when she fielded a deflection off of a shot by Kaitlynn Funsch and got behind the Timberwolves goalie for a shot at an open net and a 1-0 lead.
Manuleleua just missed an opportunity to give the Buffaloes the lead late in the game when one of her shots hit the crossbar and caromed out.
“We really wanted it,” Manuleleua said. “I think we worked really hard. People were getting me good balls and we just didn’t capitalize like we should have. It was back and forth but we dominated a lot.
“On the shot I saw the deflection and I was hungry to score a goal.”
Manteca had 18 shots and Sierra (1-0-2, 12-0-4) had 10.
“We knew it was going to be a hard game from the get-go,” Timberwolves coach Manuel Pires said. “We got point, they got a point – there are still a lot of games to play.
“We definitely woke up in the second half and played a lot better than we did in the first half. I thought we struggled in the first half to maintain possessions, but in the second half we did really well.”
Sadly, one of the rallying points for Sierra in the second half was when its captain Minty Doyle went down with a knee injury early in the half.
“We lost a very key player,” Pires said. “It was just a bad injury. She is one of our captains and one of our leaders and that was a sad thing to see. Hopefully she can recover soon, but that is the way the game goes sometimes.”
Twelve minutes into the second half Kindra Kiser went after a loose ball in the corner and just before she went out of bounds somehow got it past the Buffaloes defender and into the opposite side of the net to tie the score.
“I stood there for a second and I saw it go in,” Kiser said. “That was a good feeling.
“One of my good friends had just gotten hurt and I saw the ball and told myself I had to do it for her. All I saw was the ball and I saw nothing else. I got to it, I knew I had to take a touch and the kick and hope it got somewhere and it ended up in the goal.”
Sierra 6, Manteca 0
Jenny Rivera and Nikayla Turner each scored a pair of goals for the Timberwolves.
Natasha Honole and Julissa Pimental each added a goal for Sierra and Emily Cunial had an assist.