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Buffs win, but not in style
Hafeds hat trick causes concern for MHS
Weston Ranch senior Wafa Hafed and Manteca’s Breanne Hatfield battle for the loose ball during Manteca’s 4-3 win over the Cougars Tuesday.
WESTON RANCH — Manteca High’s soccer team left its Valley Oak League contest with Weston Ranch with a 4-3 win, but the squad’s performance was less than impressive.

Sammie Morris got the scoring underway when she found the back of the net in the 16th minute, pushing the Buffaloes up 1-0. The Cougars would answer back, as senior Wafa Hafed tied the score in the 21st minute with the first of her three goals.

Manteca’s Sialei Manuleleua scored Manteca’s second goal moments before the intermission on an assist from Abigail Rosas. Manteca would go up 3-1 when Manuleleua took an assist from Lacey Silva and scored in the opening seconds of the second half.

“We actually didn’t play very well at all today,” Manteca head coach Justin Coenenberg said. “We’re still pretty banged up and we’ve got girls playing out of position. Things didn’t really come together today and it was probably one of our most poorly played games up to this point in the year.

“Not to take anything away from Weston Ranch, because they played really well today.”

The Buffaloes (3-1 VOL, 9-3-1overall) could not protect their lead, surrendering to more goals to Hafed in the 67th and 80th minutes. The hat trick was Hafed’s third of the season and definitely makes her one of the players to watch for the remainder of the league season.

Hafed has proven to be capable goal scorer, but team issues forced head coach Carlos Gaspar to mix-and-match Hafed’s assignments, pulling her back into the forward position when Manteca would attempt to distance themselves from the Cougars.

“When I got down 1-0 I had to bring her back up and she got hot,” Gaspar said. “My starting defender was out sick, so I had to put Wafa back there. She is a phenomenal talent and she can really do anything for us.

“When we were able to get her up front, she was awesome.”

The Cougars (2-2) will be back on the pitch Tuesday when they travel to Oakdale to take on the Mustangs. Manteca will be in action Thursday when they play host to the Central Valley Hawks.
— Jagada Chambers

Sierra 0, Oakdale 0
SIERRA — For the third straight match, Sierra (3-0-1, 7-4-1) started with guns blazing. This time, however, the Timberwolves were unable to make good on three golden opportunities to strike in the opening minutes of a game between two of the VOL’s best.

Sierra took 2-0 leads by the 10th minute of its previous two games against Manteca and Sonora. Considering the parity in the league this year, Sierra coach Manuel Pires is treating the scoreless tie on the road like a win.

“In the first five minutes we had some nice chances to put the game away early and didn’t,” Pires said. “I knew that Oakdale wasn’t going to give us very many opportunities like that. In the second half our legs got a little tired after playing (Monday) and Oakdale took over, but we were able to hold them off.

“All things considered it’s great to come out of there with a point. There are a lot of games left to be played and we’re still in first place with some of our players banged up.”

With the game played so tightly, Sierra needed senior goalie Moriah Fallon to step up, and she did just that while recording 12 saves.

Oakdale (1-0-2, 8-2-3) continues to trail Sierra in the standings, but the Timberwolves still have to play East Union at home Thursday.

East Union 4, Ceres 0
The Lancers (2-0-1, 7-2-3) fully controlled Ceres (1-4, 3-8-3), outshooting the Bulldogs 15-1. Goalkeeper Taylor Maruca stuffed Ceres’ only shot attempt on a breakaway.

Megan Howley scored twice and assisted another goal, and Kayla Lamont contributed a goal and an assist.

Selena daSilva added a goal, while Jessica Villegas, Kaitlyn Hughes and Ode Castillo were all in on assists.

Sonora 4, Lathrop 0
SONORA — First-year varsity Lathrop put up a valiant fight after dropping a 10-0 drubbing at the hands of Manteca Monday.

Sonora (1-3, 1-4) was able to get goals at the end of each half during stoppage time.

“We played considerably better than (Monday),” Lathrop coach Ryan Biedermann said. “It could have legitimately been a 2-0 game.”

Biedermann singled out new goalkeeper Esmeralda Garcia and left wing defender Illiana Martinez for keeping the Spartans in the contest.

— Jonamar Jacinto