STOCKTON -- Lathrop snapped a two-game losing streak in thrilling fashion on Tuesday evening.
Yaneli Avila scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute, converting a penalty kick after a Stagg defender was flagged for a hand ball. The win is the first of the season for the inexperienced Spartans and first-year coach Gabe Padilla.
Melissa Ponce notched the equalizer midway through the second half for Lathrop, now 1-2 on the young season. All three of the Spartans’ games have been decided by one goal; each a 2-1 decision.
“This was a learning experience for these girls,” said Padilla, whose team struggled at the start of Tuesday’s match. “The game tested their character. I pretty much chewed them out at halftime for their play in the first half. I wanted someone to step up and be a leader, and Yaneli did that.”
Edna Magana was credited with the assist on Ponce’s goal. Magana (two) and Callia Morales-Linnell (three) combined for five saves.
The turnaround is short for the Spartans, who host West High today at 4 p.m.
Tracy 3, Sierra 1
Sierra could not keep pace with the Tracy Bulldogs, netting just one goal in its season opener.
The Timberwolves got their lone goal from junior Naomi Nunis on an assist from Tiffany Quezada.
Sierra (0-1) will try host Lodi on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Hughson 2, Ripon Christian 0
The Ripon Christian girls basketball team is playing tonight in a Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal in Galt. That’s important to know, because until the ball stops bouncing on their season the Knights’ girls soccer program will struggle.
Playing short-handed, Ripon Christian was shut out at Hughson, a playoff team a year ago.
The Huskies jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first half and would later add an insurance goal late in the second half.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Knights.
Ripon Christian (0-1) will open the Buffalo Cup on Friday against Orestimba and host Manteca High, a Division III semifinalist in 2012. RC will play Orestimba at 2 p.m. and Manteca at 4 p.m.
Kimball 8, Manteca 1
The Buffaloes were only able to muster a single point in their match against the Kimball Jaguars, falling decisively in Valley Oak League action. Manteca will host Oakdale Thursday at 3 p.m.