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Buff soccer edges Hillmen
Manteca Highs Ramon Rojas (14) takes a goal shot as Placer keeper Brig Tucker blocks the shot on Saturday - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin

A penalty kick from Ramon Rojas was the only scoring in the third-place game of the Buffalo Cup as tournament host Manteca held on for a 1-0 win over the Placer-Auburn Hillmen at Guss Schmiedt Field. 

With four minutes left in the first half, Rojas was fouled hard in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. He made the best of it and the defense held for the Buffaloes (3-2) the rest of the way.

“It hurt quite a bit,” Rojas said of the shot he took. “I cut in and then I felt his shoulder going through my jaw. 

“We practice for penalty kicks when games are tight like this so I try not to sink under pressure. I want to do it just like we do in practice.” 

Manteca had 12 shots on goal which kept the Hillmen defense busy.

“They were a solid opponent,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “They worked really hard off the ball which made things difficult and they pressured us. I thought we could have done a better job of playing the ball a little quicker and eliminating some of the dribbles.”

Aron Navarrete was recently moved from forward to sweeper for the Buffaloes (3-2). 

“Aron has been playing forward for us pretty much,” Coenenberg said. “We moved him back here for a few games and he has done a good job for us defensively. 

“Rojas is a workhorse – he did a good job of creating opportunities – and Kevin Rodriguez had a good weekend as well.”

Navarette helped limit the Placer (3-3) to just two shots on goal while the Buffaloes had 12.

“You just have to keep everything organized and make sure everyone is doing their job correctly,” Navarrete said. “And then just play hard.

“We have been trying to hold it and do our best out there.”


Pacheco-Los Banos 1,

 Manteca 1 (2-1 PK)


The Panthers (8-1) won the semifinal match on penalty kicks.

Josh Kong scored the lone goal for the Buffaloes in the first half on an assist from Kevin Rodriguez. 

“We tried to take away the positives from this game,” Coenenberg said. “Pacheco is a really good team with maybe one loss on the year – they have beat some strong opponents already like Oakdale.

“I was happy with the way we played. It was a great, competitive game and I thought by far it was the best team we have played this season and I thought we rose to the occasion.”




Atwater 2, Sierra 0


After allowing just one goal in the first three games, the Timberwolves gave up two to the Falcons on Saturday in the championship soccer contest.

“It was a good game,” Sierra coach Joe Pires said. “Atwater scored in their opportunities while  we had some good looks did not finish them. We played a bit flat, tired and some had some injuries but give Atwater credit. They played a better game and congrats to them.

“Overall it was a good tournament with three victories, one loss  nine goals scored with three allowed and two shutouts.”  


Sierra 3,

Beyer-Modesto 1


David Lopez scored a goal and had a pair of assists for the Timberwolves in the semifinal win. 

Lopez scored the game’s first goal on an assist from Branden Rullan before assisting Eddie Aguilar and Justin Ruiz.


Cross Country


Lagoon Valley Classic (Vacaville)

Weston Ranch junior Iris Carrillo won the varsity small schools girls 5,000-meter race in 19 minutes, 10 seconds with junior teammate Tomas Huerta finishing second in his race (17:00). 

The Cougars boys had five finish in the top 40 giving Weston Ranch a fourth-place team finish.

Boys competitors for the Cougars were: Alec Araquel, 20th (18:05); Jeremiah Robancho, 32nd (18:40), Jerry Ramirez, 36th (18:47); Nick Rahawi, 39th (18:47); Nick Curtright, 46th (19:12); Jeremie Robancho, 60th (19:36) and Tim Duong 92nd (20:50).

The Weston Ranch girls finishers were: Crystal Lam, 71st (27:24); Reyna Martinez, 80th (30