Francisco Cisneros summed up Weston Ranch’s final nonleague match of the season in one word:
By the 25th minute the Cougars trailed visiting Edison 3-0.
After the final whistle, they celebrated a wild 6-3 win.
“The first 25 minutes were probably the worst 25 we’ve played all season, but these guys came back and played the way they’re capable of playing,” Weston Ranch’s second-year coach said. “I saw us at our worst and then I saw us at our best. It’s a great lesson going into league.
“We had a really tough preseason schedule and we did it this way on purpose, to get ready for the VOL. Hopefully all that experience pays off for us.”
Edison (5-1) appeared to be well on its way to keeping its perfect record intact. Enter Francisco Monroy, Weston Ranch’s super sub who gave Weston Ranch a big lift. He put the Cougars on the board late in the first half, and as quickly as they gave up the three goals they struck quickly for three of their own to tie it by halftime.
Hector Maldonado inched Weston Ranch closer by converting a penalty kick, and he buried the equalizer off a feed from Monroy.
“We took a good look at Francisco today, and he came off the bench and really sparked our team,” Cisneros said.
Weston Ranch (7-2-3) continued to swing the momentum in its favor in the second half, when Joseph Mayorca scored twice to make it 5-3. He earlier assisted Monroy’s goal. Miguel Morales capped off the scoring with the assist coming from Kevin Medina.
The Cougars open VOL play at home Monday against Kimball.
Manteca 6, Escalon 2
In Escalon, Jason Maravilla and Kevin Rodriguez netted two goals apiece, while Marcus Montano added a goal and two assists for the Buffaloes (4-2-2).
Braulio Solis punctuated the rout with the final goal of the game. Manteca held a 4-2 lead at halftime with both of Esclaon’s goals coming off penalty kicks. It was otherwise a game dominated by the Buffaloes, who held a 17-4 advantage in shot attempts.
Manteca gets a tough first assignment in the VOL, as defending champion Oakdale awaits.
Lathrop 4, Linden 3
In Lathrop, the Spartans (7-4-1) wrapped up a successful pre-league run with a noteworthy win over the perennial Mother Lode League contender.
Ulysses Almanza racked up two goals and an assist to lead the way. He nailed a second-half penalty kick for a needed insurance goal, as the Lions (2-5-1) scored late to threaten for a tie.
Hairo Silva gave Lathrop the lead for good with a PK in the first half. His assist to Estevan Lopez helped expand the lead to two. The Spartans had chances to ice the win earlier, but two shots were denied by the posts.
Lathrop begins the VOL season Monday at Sierra.
Galt 5, Sierra 1
In Galt, the Timberwolves (1-6-1) had trouble keeping up with the Sac-Joaquin Section’s No. 3-ranked team (MaxPreps).
Galt (6-1-2) was paced by sophomore Fabian Rodriguez’s two goals.
Venture Academy 4,
In Stockton, the Indians (4-6) were unable to dig out of a 3-0 halftime hole as it continues a brutal stretch in their nonleague schedule. Following their losses to section title hopefuls Ripon Christian and Venture Academy this week, they host large-school contender Gregori and MLL powerhouse Linden next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ripon Christian 6,
In Ripon, the Knights (7-3) finished out their nonleague schedule with a bang as they prepare for their Southern League opener with defending champion Le Grand.
Danny Vander Molen poured in two goals and an assist in the lopsided win. Travis Vander Molen, Tallon Dotinga, Josh Donoho and Kyle Colyn added one goal apiece.
Lukas Vermeulen preserved the shutout with seven saves.
Weston Ranch 3, Edison 1
Mario Martinez, Giovanni Trejo and Brian Ortiz accounted for Weston Ranch’s goals.