There was one player opposing teams knew they had to stop when facing Sierra’s girls soccer team this season, and few were successful.
Junior forward Jocelin Roa played a part in more than half of her team’s goals, whether it was as playmaker or finisher, and she was voted as MVP of the Valley Oak League.
“For all the hard work and everything she has accomplished, for her to be MVP in our league is a great honor,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said. “Her work ethic and leadership have been amazing. I believe she deserves this award.”
Pires split Coach of the Year recognition with Manteca’s Justin Coenenberg after their squads finished as co-champions. For Pires’ Timberwolves (10-1-1 VOL, 16-5-2 overall), it’s their fifth straight VOL crown. Manteca (10-1-1, 20-4-1) was in position to claim the outright title having won 12 overall matches in a row at one point, but fourth-place East Union (4-5-3, 10-8-3) ended the Buffaloes’ streak with a 2-2 tie and opened the door for Sierra to garner a piece of the championship.
Roa totaled 37 goals and 15 assists for 89 points, which tied for third most in the Sac-Joaquin Section, according to MaxPreps. She had a hand in 59% of Sierra’s 88 overall goals, and in league play that percentage went up.
Roa tallied 25 goals and 10 assists in 12 league contests, good for 66% of the team’s output.
“That’s the thing, in the past we always seemed to have a few more players who were able to score goals for us, but this year we did not have that, Pires said. “For Jocelin, it was more of a challenge for her to score as much as she did, and she was also able to help her teammates score. She didn’t have a lot of open space, but she’s still creative enough to give us those scoring chances.”
The Timberwolves did not have another double-digit goal scorer but made up for it with a strong defense and midfield. Defenders Zoie Willson (five goals, eight assists) and Preeya Singh (three assists) join Roa on the All-VOL first team along with midfielder Juliana Rodriguez (two assists).
Manteca also has four all-league selections, including two of the top 10 scorers in the SJS. Cameron Silva, league MVP two years ago as a freshman, ended up sixth in the Section with 80 points (33 goals, 14 assists) despite a late start to the season. Fourth-year starter Caitlynn Wong ranked No. 9 with 70 points (30 goals, 10 assists). Senior defenders Yehudit Vega (two goals, assist) and Aleah Melendez (goal, assist) round out the Buffs’ all-league players.
East Union is represented by three underclassmen: freshman sweeper Mackenzie Weber, and sophomore midfielders Jenna Campbell and Chloe Silva. Senior midfielder Montserrat Ruiz Perez (three goals, assist) is the lone all-leaguer for Weston Ranch (0-12, 1-19-1).
Area athletes making the All-VOL second team: East Union goalkeeper Cassidy Pearson, Manteca goalkeeper Marissa Soza, East Union defender Kaylee Hutzler, Sierra defender Jenna Castro, Weston Ranch defender Jazzlynn Mercado, Manteca midfielder Corrine Jones, Sierra midfielder Presley Perez, East Union forward Chelsea Keathley, Manteca forward Sienna Jones, Sierra forward Hailey Cruz and Weston Ranch forward Yaritza Jimenez.
Honorable mention: East Union’s Tallon Cervantez, Brooke Dorland, Natalia Ruiz; Sierra’s Lindsay Rose, Sutton Denny and Alexus Rossi; Weston Ranch’s Anabelle Mayorca and Sofia Barrera.