Weston Ranch clinched a second straight postseason berth with Monday’s resounding 7-1 victory at Lathrop.
The Cougars (11-0-0, 18-2-3) can capture at least a share of their first-ever Valley Oak League championship Wednesday with a win at Manteca. Only two more regular-season matches follow.
“We don’t take that for granted, it’s only the second time in school history we’re going to make the playoffs,” Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros said. “That was one of our goals at the beginning of the season. Now, we get to move onto different goals starting tomorrow.”
There were plenty of goals to go around Monday. Surprising, considering Lathrop (2-8-1, 9-12-2) has a history of giving Weston Ranch fits.
Center attacking midfielder Joseph Mayorca scored two of his three goals in the first half. The Cougars comfortably led 4-1 at halftime, with Estevan Lopez accounting for Lathrop’s only score.
Kevin Medina, Hector Maldonado, Omar Centeno and Deon Coffey added a goal apiece for the Cougars. Jose Espinoza, Francisco Garcia, Esteban Paramo and Mariano Perez each contributed an assist.
“Today, our guys really put a complete game together,” Cisneros said. “They passed well, possessed the ball, communicated and finished against a tough Lathrop team that always gives us trouble. I’m really proud of the way the guys played.”
Manteca 7, Central Cath. 2
At Guss Schmiedt Field, Marcus Montano recorded a hat trick for the host Buffaloes (7-3-1, 12-4-2), who leapfrogged East Union for the third-place spot in the standings.
Jason Maravilla contributed two goals and an assist. Alex Hernandez and Braulio Solis chipped in a goal each. Manteca led just 2-1 before staggering winless Central Catholic with a second-half barrage.
The Buffaloes have a tough three-game stretch to end the regular season starting with Wednesday’s rematch with VOL-leading Weston Ranch. Their final home match against dangerous Lathrop follows. The Oct. 29 date at East Union could be for the league’s third and final available postseason berth.
Oakdale 2, East Union 0
At Dino Cunial Field, Oakdale (9-2, 14-4-3) put itself in position to garner the No. 2 spot in the VOL while the Lancers (6-4-1, 8-4-2) slipped to fourth place.
Jose Becerra and David Serrano scored for the Mustangs, who completed a season sweep of East Union.
Lathrop 2, W. Ranch 1
Luis Vargas and Ronaldo Macias both scored for Lathrop, with Jeffrey Raudales credited for the assists.