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Cougars prove worth in loss to Manteca
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The Manteca Bufffaloes are still undefeated.

But it wasn’t easy, as the Buffaloes took advantage of a late-game opportunity for a 1-0 win over the Weston Ranch Cougars Thursday in Valley Oak League soccer.

“They played well against us,” Manteca head coach Justin Coenenberg said. “I’ve been telling the guys we have a target on our back and we are going to get teams’ best effort. Weston Ranch did a great job.

“They came in fired up and they have really good speed.”

Manteca (2-0, 11-0 overall) made it happen on a corner kick from Brandon Landwehr that Jesus Ponce sent in with a header to hand Manteca the win.

Weston Ranch (0-2, 2-5) continued an improved effort as a team, coming minutes away from posting what would have been viewed as an upset.

“We dominated the entire game possession-wise,” Weston Ranch co-head coach Julio Madrigal said. “These guys can compete with anyone in the league, when they want to.

“Today we wanted to come out here and make a statement and I thought we did.”

Manteca keeper Abdiel Chiquito posted 12 saves in the win.

Lathrop 2, Sonora 2

The Spartans continued an impressive opening to the VOL season, getting their second tie in as many games with a 2-2 match with the Wildcats.

Lathrop (0-0-2, 6-2-2) got a goal from Felipe Gomez in the game’s first minute and got its final goal from Gilberto Duran, who assisted the first score.

Goalie Omar Guzman had five saves in the box.

Southern League

Ripon Christian 4,Denair 2

The Knights notched their first goal in the 14th minute when Dan Choi served up a perfect ball to Danny Vander Molen and cruised from there in a 4-2 Southern League win Thursday.

Vander Molen returned the favor with Paul Cho, dishing an assist on Cho’s second half score.

Vander Molen would finish with a hat-trick, adding goals in the 22nd and the 52th minute.

“The boys played well,” Knights head coach Keith Terpsma said. “Each one fulfilled the role he was asked to perform today.”