MODESTO — East Union’s boys soccer team began its Valley Oak League title defense Monday with a one-sided 3-0 victory at Central Catholic, but it took awhile for the Lancers to get going.
Four starters did not play the opening 20 minutes for disciplinary reasons, forcing them to lean on goalie Trent Rivera and the defense in the early going.
Jacob Garcia, Jesus Hurtado and Christian Tapia all scored in the second half for East Union (1-0-0, 8-3-1 overall).
“We had a strong possession game,” East Union coach Ronnie Green said. “Once we were able to find the net the floodgates opened. Central Catholic is very well coached. They sit back, wait and try to counter attack. It’s a defensive team that takes advantage of other team’s mistakes.”
The Lancers finally broke through in the 50th minute on a well-developed counter-attack punctuated by Garcia. Angel Guizar started it on the right side and sent it off to Oscar Soto, who then connected with Hurtado on a negative pass. Hurtado hit Garcia with a perfect cross.
East Union attempted 19 shots while the host Raiders (0-1, 1-3-2) were limited to seven. Rivera kept the sheet clean with a save on Central Catholic’s lone shot in the second half, swatting it over the crossbar.
“It was huge for us to shut them out in the first half,” Green said. “They could have parked the bus farther back and put more defenders in there had they scored early in the game.”
East Union heads to Oakdale on Wednesday.
Weston Ranch 2,
TRACY — Ravaged by injuries, Weston Ranch (1-0-0, 1-7-2) was still able to register its first win of the season Monday.
Elmer Figueroa knocked in the game-winning goal in the 75th minute off an a cross by Robert Gonzalez. Kimball knotted the score just two minutes before that. Gonzalez also had a goal of his own, as he was set up by Gio Rodriguez in the first half. Francisco Vega finished with five saves.
“We had three starters out and some players in spots they don’t normally play,” Cougars coach Francisco Cisneros said. “They were tested and responded well. We have a lot of things to work on moving forward, but they showed resiliency to come back after allowing the tying goal.”
Oakdale 2, Manteca 0
The visiting Mustangs (1-0-0), 4-5-2) struck for their goals in the first half and held on for the shutout at Guss Schmiedt Field.
Manteca came out as the aggressor in the second half, firing three shots on goal in the first eight minutes.
“We went to a different formation and the game completely changed,” Manteca coach Daniel Guevara said. “We dominated the second half, unfortunately we couldn’t put anything in.”
Ripon Christian 2,
RIPON — The Knights (5-4) were in full control of the nonleague contest for their fifth straight victory.
Riverbank (1-10-2) did give them some problems in the early going, packing the defensive third of the field with bodies. Ripon Christian finally broke the ice in the second half, cashing in on two crosses from Bethany Silveira.
Rachel Oosterman was on the receiving end of the first assist, finding the opposite panel in the 63rd minute. Five minutes later, Brittany Bloemhof touched it in with a near-post volley.
East Union 10,
Central Catholic 0
MODESTO — Julian Irigoyen highlighted the blowout win with three goals, and Alberto Gomez scored twice.
Goalies Fernando Ambriz and Marco Galvan combined for the shutout.
Ripon Christian 5,
RIPON — Adriana Arias had a hat trick in the first 10 minutes, and the Knights were able to coast for the win from there.