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Injury-ravaged Lancers gear up for Sierra
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With players returning from various ailments and injuries, East Union High’s girls soccer team had one last chance to prepare for its big Valley Oak League tussle with rival Sierra Friday.

The Lancers cruised 7-0 at Weston Ranch Wednesday, improving to 2-0 in league and 9-3 overall. They are, however, without dynamic goal scorer Megan Howley, who fractured a foot in East Union’s round-robin tournament on March 12.

“I thought Weston Ranch has developed an improved squad and program, and they threatened the goal a few times, but we set the tone throughout most of the game trying a new system that may be our staple formation,” East Union coach Jim Todd said. “I was really pleased to see the team do things we practiced and set out to accomplish.”

First-year Weston Ranch co-head coach Francisco Cisneros was impressed by the Lancers, who took a five-goal lead into halftime. Weston Ranch fell to 0-2-1 in league, 2-6-2 overall.

“I haven’t seen Oakdale or Sierra play yet, but East Union looked amazing out there,” he said.

East Union’s attack was efficient and balanced. Meghan Wallace scored twice, and Stephanee Sabala contributed two assists.

Gina Dias, Leilani Villasenor, Cinthia Lopez and Kayla Lamont added one goal apiece. Dias also had an assist, and Lopez was one of the players who made her season debut Wednesday.

Adriana Villasenor, Eliana da Silva and Kendra Kaiser each added an assist.

“We spent time creating certain sequences and opportunities. It was a good outing in many ways,” Todd said.

The anticipated East Union-Sierra game kicks off at around 6:30 Friday night at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

Oakdale 4, Lathrop 0
The second-year varsity Spartans (0-2, 1-3-3) battled admirably against one of the VOL’s early favorites to capture the conference crown.

And Lathrop was without their starting and reserve goalkeepers along with top striker Dominique Caceres.

Illiana Martinez, typically a defender, got the nod in goal.

“She did all right for having absolutely zero experience,” Lathrop coach Jason Biedermann said. “Oakdale is no doubt very good, but we had a couple opportunities to score.

“We’re no longer getting killed by eight or nine goals, so the girls are getting a taste of what it’s supposed to be like to be competitive.”

Ripon 1, Escalon 0
The rebuilding Indians (1-0-1, 2-5-2) got a big confidence boost Tuesday while winning their first conference match of the season.

Elizabeth Clark netted the deciding goal with the assist coming from Katherine Ratto.

East Union 2, Weston Ranch 1
Taylor Rose scored for East Union and assisted Rose Wood’s goal.

The Lancers got tough defensive play from Cely Vazquez, Katie Hilscher, Sydny Lincoln, Danielle Burrows and Kelly Crawford.

Sierra 2, Manteca 2
The visiting Timberwolves were unable to hold on to their fragile 2-1 halftime lead in a well-contested match.

Shortly after going down 1-0, Sierra struck with the equalizer when Tiffany Quesada connected with Naomi Nunis. With 2 minutes left in the opening half, Kyndall Riley pounded in Sierra’s go-ahead goal.

Manteca tied it 8 minutes into the second half.

Shariah Davidson had four saves at goal for Sierra, and McKenna Balmut recorded two for the Buffaloes. Alexis Romo, Kelsey Wells, Nicole Castrejon and Megan Gonsalves provided strong defense for Sierra.