STOCKTON – He who laughs last, laughs longest. And the Weston Ranch boys’ soccer team is laughing all the way to the trophy case – again.
The Cougars – defending Sac Joaquin Section Division IV champions – squared off with defending Division III champion Oakdale on Saturday for the Division III crown at Stagg High School. In a physical, contentious contest Weston Ranch played disciplined ball while the Mustangs devolved into six yellow cards and a red card on the way to a 2-0 win for the Cougars and their second consecutive blue banner.
“That was a tough one (out) there,” Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros said. “They are a great team and we knew it was going to be a tough game so we came out focused and we had a game plan and we stuck to the game plan and executed.”
The Cougars (24-4-2) lost their two VOL contests to Oakdale (20-4-5) this season.
“They are a really good team but we are a really good team too, and it is tough to beat a good team three times,” Cisneros said. “They got us the first two times, but we were lucky enough to put a good game plan together and we pulled it off. I am proud of these guys.”
If you do not get it in the net, you do not win, and Weston Ranch goalie Eddie Acosta saw to it that the Mustangs did not find the net, posting seven saves.
“They beat us twice in VOL,” Acosta said. “We had to come out after it because we have 15 seniors and this is our last chance at it.
“It was our defense. Defense wins championships, offense sells tickets.”
In the 13th minute Kevin Medina fired a left-footed cross to Omar Centeno who headed it into the net for a 1-0 Cougars lead.
“I was surprised because it was on my left when I crossed it,” Medina said. “And Omar is always there with the header.”
With 10 minutes left in the game Joseph Mayorca drew his Oakdale defender to the end line and tapped the ball back to Centeno for an insurance goal.
“I took the defender,” Mayorca said. “And then I saw Omar open and crossed it over and with a lucky bounce he got it in.”
While Mayorca had 41 goals this season (along with 14 assists), with the Mustangs focusing on him Centeno was able to get free for his two goals.
“The header was a great cross by Kevin Medina,” Centeno said. “I just touched it a little bit and it went in.
“And the second goal was a great assist by Yoyo (Joseph Mayorca).”