One of the short-term goals coach Justin Coenenberg has set for Manteca High’s girls soccer team is to keep every team it faces scoreless through the first half of its Valley Oak League schedule.
Six down, one to go — and the one will be the defense’s toughest test yet.
The Buffaloes blanked Oakdale 3-0 on the road Monday to set up an anticipated first-half finale with conference-leading East Union, which visits Guss Schmiedt Field Wednesday night.
Manteca (5-0-1, 11-3-2 overall) has recorded eight shutouts in a row. Goalkeeper Jimi Guibor notched 10 saves Monday, with Oakdale outshooting the Buffaloes, 14-13. Defenders Jasmine Odell and Breanne Hatfield factored into the scoring, while Samantha Greiman and sophomore Katelyn Rosas helped them solidify the back line.
Coenenberg also lauded the efforts of diminutive sophomore midfielder Harleen Pabla, who refused to back down against Oakdale’s bigger and physical players.
“They’ve all done an outstanding job,” Coenenberg said. “We’re pretty excited about that (shutout streak). One of our goals was to not give up a goal in the first half of league and the girls definitely bought into that. They don’t want to give up a goal against East Union either, but we know they have a very talented and very deep team. It will definitely be our biggest challenge of the year.”
Coenenberg is also pleased with how the offense is shaping up with its top threat, third-year junior Sammie Morris, still out with an ankle injury.
Sophomore midfielder Chenayi Tavaziva converted in the first goal in the sixth minute off a backwards pass from Taylor Teixeira.
Manteca doubled the lead in the 43rd minute on a set piece, as Odell finished off a short pass from Hatfield and blasted it in from about 25 yards out.
The Buffaloes struck again with a free kick nine minutes later, as Odell delivered the pass and Sialei Manulelua finished off the scoring play with a header.
“It has taken us a while (offensively), we just had to find different ways to score,” Coenenberg said. “The good thing is that we don’t have one or two girls doing all the scoring. Every game we have goals coming from someone else it seems like.”
East Union 5, Sonora 0
A pair of sophomores did much of the scoring damage for the VOL leaders, as Megan Wallace produced a hat trick, and Isela Rivera scored twice and chipped in an assist at Dino Cunial Field. Regina contributed two assists, while Selena daSilva and Marissa King added one apiece.
East Union (6-0, 12-1-2) again hit on all cylinders, tallying its sixth straight shutout to start conference play.
Sierra 7, Lathrop 0
At Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, Naomi Nunis struck for two goals, and Syndee Canales had one and assisted another as the Timberwolves (3-2-1, 7-4-3) jumped into sole possession of third place.
Adding a goal apiece were Asia Cortez, Jessica Cueca and Jacquelin Revives. Kristyn DeBrouwer, Tori Iniquez and Daisy Rivera each had an assist, and Lia Unterholzner recorded four goalie saves.
Sierra 5, Lathrop 0
Marissa LaQuaglia led the scoring charge with two goals. Maira Cruz, Christian Lara and Kyrstin Riley netted one each.