East Union’s girls soccer team bounced back from one of its worst efforts of the season and produced one of its best.
And the Lancers are rewarded with the number 12.
Their 4-0 victory at Sonora clinches the outright title of the Valley Oak League, the program’s first since 2001.
“Seeing that ’12’ patch on the gym wall will be a savory reminder for years to come,” East Union coach Jim Todd said. “This is a talented team that learned to put it together, and they worked hard for each other.
“A (Sac-Joaquin Section) pennant would be the cherry, but there are several tough games to battle for that. Wednesday night’s game (against visiting Manteca) is our biggest game of the year because it sets the stage for our readiness for the postseason.”
Last Wednesday, East Union (12-0-1, 18-1-3 overall) had their bid for a perfect league finish thwarted by a 2-2 draw against Kimball.
On Monday, the Lancers had little trouble dispatching a squad that other contenders in league have struggled with. They outshot the Wildcats, 26-0.
Led by Selena daSilva in the midfield, they also had little trouble adjusting to the artificial turf on Dunlavy Field. Isela Rivera scored the first of her two goals just 5 minutes in off an assist from Madison Meyer, who later set up Rivera’s other score.
Ten minutes later, daSilva found Megan Wallace on a corner-kick cross to double the lead. Rivera’s scoring head shot six minutes later capped the first-half onslaught.
Meyer netted her a goal of her own in the second half with help from Wallace.
“I was really pleased to see the girls pull themselves back together from last week’s frustration,” Todd said. “They pieced together a lot of play to feet, initiating some nice choreography, spreading the field and playing well together.”
Oakdale 4, Manteca 2
The Mustangs (7-4-1, 13-7-4) needed to win at Guss Schmiedt Field to keep themselves in contention for an SJS Division IV playoff berth, while Manteca (9-2-2, 15-5-3) looked to secure the No. 2 seed.
The Buffaloes struck first, as Sialei Manuleleua put it away after a nice through ball from Avigail Mayen.
Oakdale buried the tying and go-ahead goals both in the 26th minute on shots from Gaby Acosta and Kristen Brunk. Near the end of the half, Esmeralda Cuenca followed up Chenayi Tavaziva’s missed penalty kick to make it 2-2.
Sara Siemsen and Acosta netted the final two goals early in the second half (43rd and 45th minutes) for Oakdale.
It was only the second time this year that Manteca had allowed more than three goals in a game.
Sierra 5, Lathrop 0
The Timberwolves (7-3-2, 11-5-4) had five different goal scorers — Tiffany Quezada, Katnerine Quezada, Tori Iniguez, Alexis Young, Jessica Cuenca — contribute at Lathrop.
Daisy Rivera assisted two goals, while Ashley Sohal and Cuenca assisted one apiece.
Sierra still has a chance to overtake Manteca for the second postseason seed with two matches to go. Thursday’s VOL finale against visiting Oakdale could be for a berth.
Sonora 2, East Union 1
Maddie Ysalva pounded in the Lancers’ only goal, which was assisted by Jazmin Ramirez.