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Take opening win in VOL soccer paly
Manteca High

The Manteca High girls’ varsity soccer team opened Valley Oak League play with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Oakdale Wednesday at Guss Schmiedt Field.

Kaley Miller, in her first game back, wasted little time getting on track. She took a fast-break pass from teammate Esmeralda Ochoa, converting the goal with a little bit over a minute into the game.

“Our defense held strong,” said Buffaloes coach Justin Coenenberg, who was relieved and thrilled at the final outcome.

Ditto that for sophomore goalie Willow Stearns. She was grateful for her defensive support and thankful for the extra work and instructions received on playing her position from her competitive league team.

“I knew I had to be at a certain angle,” Stearns said, recalling one of several saves that occurred late in the game.

Those were also anxious moments for the sophomore defender.

“I told myself that there would be no goals (allowed) in the game,” Stearns added.

Helping out defense for Manteca (1-0 VOL, 3-3-2) included Jordyn Silva, Mia Treacy, Melissa Poncini and Isabella Pires, to name 

Miller helped out during one first-half scoring attack by the Mustangs (0-1 VOL, 4-4-1), backing up Stearns to kick away a shot attempt.

The Buffaloes had another opportunity to add to their lead just before the break but Caitlynn Wong’s shot was gobbled up by the Oakdale goalie.

The Mustangs saw a free kick hit the crossbar in the 58th minute. They twice came up empty after that thanks goalie play of Stearns and the rest of the Manteca defense.

“They had some dangerous set pieces,” said Coenenberg, referring to Oakdale’s free and corner kick tries.

He believes that the Mustangs will again be a contender in the VOL and, at the same time, is looking for his young team – the Buffaloes’ roster includes 10 sophomores and six freshmen – to continue to improve.

“We have to do a better job of possessing the ball,” said Coenenberg.

Manteca’s next game will be Monday against visiting Central Catholic.

East Union 7, Central Catholic 0

Jasmin Mejia scored three goals to lead the Lancers past the Raiders in league play on Wednesday.

East Union (1-0 VOL, 6-1-1) also got a pair of scores from Natasha Honore, and one each from Casey Carrillo and Kylie Mendez.

Fatima Jauregui, Mariana Huizar and Cynthia Romero were each credited with an assist.

Kailey Soulier spearheaded the defense for the Lancers, who will host Oakdale on Monday.

Sierra 2, Golden Valley 0

The Timberwolves (10-1-1) scored twice in the second half to squeak past Golden Valley (2-5) of the Central California Conference on Wednesday.

Yasmen Ballew off an assist from Juliana Rodriguez accounted for the first goal.

Tiana Cello added some insurance moments later, scoring an unassisted goal.

“Golden Valley (of Merced) is a very good team,” said Sierra coach Manuel Pires. “They gave us a good challenge.”

The Timberwolves will travel to Bakersfield this weekend for the Garces Memorial Tournament. They’ll host Kimball on Monday.

Kimball 9, Weston Ranch 0

The Cougars opened VOL play with a one-sided loss at Kimball.

Weston Ranch (0-1 VOL, 1-7) trailed 4-0 at the break.

Next up for the Cougars will be Central Catholic on Wednesday.

Ceres 5, Lathrop 2

The Spartans temporarily held a 2-1 lead in the first half only to see visiting Ceres (4-5-1) of the WAC come back with four unanswered goals after that.

In this non-league affair, junior Kassandra Ceja led Lathrop (2-3), scoring both goals by twice beating her defenders, according to coach Jose Montes.

The Spartans will travel to Grace Davis on Monday.

JV girls

Golden Valley 2, Sierra 1

Marissa Gallegos scored the lone goal for the Timberwolves, converting on a corner kick by Symon Panigada, who was credited with the assist.

Sierra goalie Veronica Botello came up with eight saves in the loss.

Boys soccer

Ceres 5, Lathrop 1

The Spartans opened Western Athletic League play with a loss at Ceres.

Lathrop (0-1 WAC, 0-8) tied the game up at 1-1 in the 33rd minute on a goal by Hector Alvarez.

The Bulldogs (1-0 WAC, 5-1-1) closed out with four unanswered goal from that point on.

The Spartans will travel to Pacheco for Friday’s WAC matchup.