STOCKTON — The Valley Oak League boys soccer championship is far from decided with two matches remaining.
East Union still has hope after gaining separation from third-place Weston Ranch in the standings with a commanding 4-1 win on Wednesday. The Lancers (8-1-3 VOL, 16-4-4 overall) also inched closer to the top spot thanks to Sierra’s surprising scoreless draw with winless Manteca. Sierra remains ahead by two points.
“Hopefully we can get help from someone else,” East Union coach Ronnie Green said. “We still have to take care of our own business.”
The Lancers were able to do so Wednesday despite adjusting their formation and starting lineup because of an injury center defender Oscar Avalos. Leading scorer Jacob Garcia was shifted to Avalos’ spot, and two members of the program’s league champion frosh-soph squad were pulled up to the varsity.
The moves paid dividends for East Union.
Alex Arroyo, one of those late-season call-ups, jump started the Lancers with a header goal off a cross from Jonathan Quintana in the 25th minute. They dominated the second half with goals coming from Angel Guizar, Tyler Soulier and Ulisses Garcia. Jesus Hurtado and Quintana each finished with a pair of assists.
“It worked out well,” Green said. “Typically, our centers do the scoring but tonight we were doing it with the wings. We were able to use more of the width of the field.”
Weston Ranch (7-4-1, 7-11-3) tied it at 1-1 in the opening minutes of the second half. Giovanni Rodriguez poked it in off a cross from Manuel Medina. Francisco Vega racked up 10 saves at goal for the Cougars, while Trent Rivera had eight for East Union.
Oakdale 4, Lathrop 1
LATHROP — The Spartans (2-7-3, 5-11-4) scored their lone goal in the second half on Ronaldo Macias’ penalty kick, but Oakdale had already netted three at that point.
Oakdale (6-4-2, 9-9-4) jumped ahead in the first half moments after Lathrop missed a routine opportunity of its own, and the match belonged to the Mustangs from there.
Ripon 8, Riverbank 0
RIPON — Ariana Scholten produced a hat trick, while fellow freshman Kailey Triejo added two goals and an assist for the Indians (6-1-1, 11-4-2).
Aubree Pelon, Kelcie Wolf and Megan Johnson scored one apiece. Sydney Holt, Ashley Pugh, Madison Push and Breanna Alvarez-Huckell each contributed an assist.
East Union 9,
Weston Ranch 1
STOCKTON — Jonathan Diaz and Cristian Ramirez exploded for three goals each, as East Union (12-0, 22-0-2) secured the VOL title.
Christopher Avila, Luis Ruvalcaba and Tarunjit Singh added a goal apiece. Jonathan Ponce, Jonathan Ramirez and Jagmeet Gill anchored the defense.
Ripon 4, Riverbank 0
RIPON — Sheylyn Pokornoy highlighted the shutout with three goals, and Abby Rangel contributed with one.