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BOYS SOCCER: Lancers upset top-seeded Vista del Lago in SJS semifinals
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East Union head coach Ronnie Green knew at halftime of his team’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal Tuesday night the Lancers had to keep up the pressure.
And four minutes later, they scored the game’s only goal for a 1-0 victory over host Vista del Lago of Folsom, securing East Union’s place in the final round and in history as the first Valley Oak League team to advance to the CIF Northern California Regional Championships. The fifth-seeded Lancers (20-6-2) face No. 2 Ceres on Thursday at Ripon Christian.
“We knew that we had controlled the possession for the game’s first half, and I told my guys that they just needed to keep doing what they were doing,” Green said. “They needed to keep using the width and take advantage of starting out fresh and that’s what they did.
“All year long when we’ve pressed high against top teams, we’ve been able to dominate the possession game, and we were able to do that tonight.  I’m proud of my guys for maintaining that tempo.”
It was right wing Alex Arroyo who was able to finally feed a pass through the Vista del Lago defense and catch German Gonzalez in stride for a goal in the 44th minute.
While it was enough to give the Lancers the edge, Green said it was his defensive backfield that won the game, shutting down the top-seeded Eagles (17-6-1) and their star player Cole Porter (28 goals, 17 assists).
“We didn’t give him any room to breathe tonight,” Green said. “The pressure of our defense and our three backs — Edwin Mata, Geraldo Gallegos and Oscar Avalo — allowed us to shut them down, and that proved to be the difference tonight.”
Senior goalkeeper Fernando Segura was also stellar for the Lancers, pulling in three saves including a deflected shot that came on a 1-on-1 challenge that would have served as the equalizer.
The final-round match starts at 7 Thursday night. Both finalists have qualified for the NorCal tournament, which is in its second year of existence.

Ceres 2, Sierra 2
(Ceres wins PKs, 4-3)

At Ceres, VOL champion Sierra (15-7) was unable to hold off the Bulldogs (19-1-4) after leading 1-0 at halftime.
And after knotting the score at 2-2 at the end of regulation and overtime, the Timberwolves didn’t get the breaks they needed in a penalty kick shootout, falling, 4-3.
Sierra got on the sheet first with an Emilio Sanchez goal off of a Gerardo Magana assist in the 36th minute that proved to be the only offensive production in the game’s first half.  Ceres answered back just seven minutes into the second half and managed to take the lead with a goal in the 69th minute.
With only five minutes left in regulation, Brayan Nunez netted the equalizer on a loose ball from a penalty kick that had hit the crossbar. After two scoreless overtime periods, the game went to penalty kicks and the Bulldogs were able to save just one more than Sierra for the victory.
“We played a good game in very poor field conditions,” Sierra head coach Joe Pires said. “We had a couple of opportunity to finish and did not.
“Overall it was a great season for a very young team that learned a lot this season. Now it’s time to work hard in the offseason and get ready for next year and do it all over again.”