LATHROP — Once East Union’s Daniel Gomez got his goal, he set about helping his teammates score.
Following a handball by host Lathrop inside the box, Gomez converted the ensuing penalty kick for the first goal of the game in the 14th minute. By the time the mud settled on Bennie Gatto Field, Gomez dished out three assists to help lead the Lancers to a 6-0 win in Valley Oak League action.
“I already had a goal so I just wanted to do something for the team,” Gomez said of his assists. “On the PK, it is something you have to be calm about. You can’t be nervous about taking those.”
The game was relatively close with East Union (1-0-1 VOL, 5-1-3 overall) leading 3-0 through 74 minutes when the Lancers added three goals in the final six minutes capped off with a 30-plus-yard direct kick by Brandon Zarate in stoppage time.
“I just wanted to take a shot,” Zarate said. “It was just a lucky kick, I guess.”
The Lancers added a second goal in the first half when Gomez got a through ball to Jacob Garcia in the 31st minute and Garcia got a cross to Jonathan Quintana who popped the ball in the net for a 2-0 lead.
Gomez got his three assists in the second half – one to Hector Romero in the 49th minute, another to Zachary Hernandez in the 74th minute to start the late scoring barrage and the last one to Cameron Chapman three minutes later.
East Union goalie Trent Rivera made six saves.
“On my first save I thought it was going to bounce off the ground but when it went up I was able jump high and get it, to stretch out for it,” Rivera said. “That was a pretty good shot.
“On the last one in the corner I just got lucky.”
Lancers coach Edgar Zalaya credited the work in practice with his team’s success passing the ball.
“We practice all the time passing the ball up the field,” Zelaya said. “So we would pass the ball at the right time for the score.”
When asked how it felt to get the shutout, Zelaya said, “Our goalie is good. And our defense is good, too. When they would cross the ball my goalie was there.”
Jefry Raduales made 10 saves for the Spartans ( 0-3-1, 4-6-2), and take away the penalty kick he gave up just two goals from the field until the final six minutes.
“We were fighting and doing good throughout the whole game,” Lathrop coach Alfredo Reynaga said. “Even though we were down I thought we had a chance to come back and shift the momentum but we kind of hung ourselves at the end with crucial mistakes.
“We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities and that is something we have been talking about all season. When we have an opportunity we have to capitalize or the momentum can shift very easily here in the VOL with any team.”
East Union 7, Lathrop 0
Alex Arroyo had a hat trick for the Lancers.
George Ramirez, Gerardo Gallegos, Andrew Ramos and Jonathan Ponce each added a goal for East Union.