WESTON RANCH — After watching Weston Ranch take second at Manteca’s own Buffalo Cup in the preseason, coach Justin Coenenberg figured his squad would have to give an A-plus effort to have a chance when the two met in Valley Oak League action Monday.
The visiting Buffaloes did that and more in a 3-0 stunner. Goalkeeper Florin Lambert keyed Manteca’s first shutout of the season with help from defenders Vince Herrera, Emanuel Pulido, Gonzalo Cerna, Jose Ramirez and Michael Guillory.
“It was huge for us,” Coenenberg said of the victory. “Talent-wise, Weston Ranch is probably better than us, so that is definitely our biggest win of the season.
“We did it by playing as a team. All of our goals were off great assists, not so much great individual play. It seems like we’re starting to come together, and in order for us to win we have to do that. We’re not the most skilled, but we can control how hard we work out there.”
Marvin Foerster finished off a cross from Jose Maravilla in the 15th minute to give the Buffaloes (2-1, 3-7 overall) a one-goal advantage going into halftime. Robbie Geerlof assisted Vince Herrera and Maravilla’s goals in the second half to put the Cougars (1-2, 3-6-1) away for good.
“We have to come out and consistently play how we know how we can play,” Weston Ranch coach Carlos Gaspar said. “If we do that we can go somewhere, but it has to come consistently.”
Sierra 2, Oakdale 2
In Oakdale, the Timberwolves (1-0-2, 7-5-2) managed to notch their second draw against a top league opponent, but Jose Montes said this was one that could have been won.
Ricky Pacheco struck in the first half to tie it at 1-all for Sierra, and Emmanuel Ortiz scored in the second to force the tie. Oscar Garcia had a chance to punch in the game-winner during the closing minutes when he was tripped up in the box but was not awarded the penalty kick.
“We’re still struggling with finishing, but we looked good,” Montes said. “We should have come out on top, but as long as we’re not losing any points in the standings we’ll be OK.”
Sierra will be in for another tough one today when it takes on rival East Union at Dino Cunial Field.
Ceres 3, East Union 1
In Ceres, East Union (2-1, 5-4-1) couldn’t get its offense in gear until Julio Pimentel found Alex Hernandez in the second half, but the Bulldogs (2-1, 4-2-1) already had their goals accounted for by that point.
“Ceres just outplayed us and we weren’t connecting very well today,” East Union coach Clarence Goes said.