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East Union top seed in D4 tourney
Manteca, RC will host playoff games
SOC Playoff brackets released 5-3
Isela Rivera (1) and the East Union girls soccer team are the No. 1 seed in the Division IV tournament for the second year in a row. - photo by Photo By Sean Kahler

The East Union girls soccer team will rest its legs before making a charge at its first section championship.

The Lancers did not practice on Friday and head coach Victor Polanco said the Valley Oak League champions will have Monday off, as well.

“It’s a four-day weekend to recuperate from those injuries. Their bodies need to rest,” Polanco said. “We’ll let them rest and then come back ready for business next week.”

For the area’s four qualifiers, the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs begin on Thursday across four divisions.

East Union (16-0-1) is the top seed in the Division IV tournament for the second year in a row and will welcome Bear River (9-5-3) to Dino Cunial Field.

Manteca (15-4-2) and Ripon Christian (18-2-1) will also host first-round games.

The Buffaloes are seeded third in the Division III bracket and will host Vanden (12-6-6), runner-up in the Solano Athletic Conference.

Ripon Christian is the No. 2 seed in D-VII tournament. The Southern League’s co-champs face Delta (3-11-1).

No. 8 Ripon (10-3-5) begins the D-V tournament at No. 1 Central Catholic (13-2-3), the Western Athletic Conference champ.

“This is what we were looking for – to be in that first position,” Polanco said on Friday after learning of East Union’s No. 1 seed. “This is fantastic.”

Like many this time of the year, Polanco doesn’t know much about Bear River, other than what can be gleaned off the Internet.

The Bruins are the third-place finisher from the Pioneer Valley League, the same conference that produced the 2012 section champion.

Colfax upset the top-seeded Lancers in the semifinal round, 2-1, and then capped their run with a 2-0 victory over league rival Placer in the final.

Polanco isn’t too concerned about his opponent – or history.

His only concern is their health.

The Lancers ascended to No. 1 in MaxPreps’ state rankings earlier in the season while rolling over Valley Oak League opponents.

East Union is unbeaten in 17 games, with its only blemish a 1-1 draw with Oakdale on April 22.

The streak has come with a small price. Polanco said his club is dealing with normal wear and tear – bumps, bruises and tired legs.

To make sure they’re at their best, Polanco gave his team a four-day weekend. East Union won’t return to practice until Tuesday afternoon.

“We know what we’re supposed to do,” he said. “It doesn’t matter; I don’t care too much about the other teams, just as long as we do our job.”