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Lancers walk through Weston Ranch
East Union’s Jose Villasenor (L) and Weston Ranch’s Christina Ascencio go after the loose ball during the Lancers 8-0 win over the Cougars Tuesday at Dino Cunial Field.
The East Union Lancers used a pair of early first-half goals to give themselves a lead they wouldn’t surrender, dropping  visiting Weston Ranch 8-0 in Tuesday’s Valley Oak League matchup.

The Lancers took every advantage of a short-handed Weston Ranch squad dealing with the repercussions of three red-card ejections in a 3-2 win over Oakdale last Thursday. Weston Ranch’s depleted roster surely didn’t make the Lancers’ task any tougher.

“We just got lucky with the shut out,” East Union’s Jose Villasenor said. “Unfortunately, they couldn’t have all their players here. It would have been a better game if they would have had all their players.

“We had all of our players except for one and we came out and did what we had to do.”

East Union scored twice in the game’s first 10 minutes when Julio Pimental made good on his second shot after beating a defender and blasting home a shot past the Cougars goalie. A 2-0 halftime lead was seemingly comfortable enough, but Lancer head coach Clarence Goes had other plans.

“At halftime I just told my team that they had to step it up,” Goes said. “We knew they were short players, but we had to work more as a team. They were just laying back in the middle and we couldn’t get our shots.

“We wanted to open up things in the middle and that’s how we got more goals in the second half.”

The Cougars put together a solid effort, but the team realistically had no chance when they made the trip to Manteca without a full-team.

“When you’re playing with nine and then I lose my goalie, so I’m down another player,” Weston Ranch head coach Carlos Gaspar said. “There was just no way. Everybody out here gave me 100 percent and they all deserve to start the next game.”

East Union wasted no time in the second half, scoring three goals in the first 23 minutes, sealing the deal on the victory and leaving a talented Cougar program looking for motivation to close out a tough season.

“I am just asking these guys to finish off the season,” Gaspar said. “The only thing that hurt our players in the sheer numbers and that falls on their own players. There were a couple of guys that decided not to show up today and those players are just hurting our team.

“They are getting punished on behalf of the other players.”

The Lancers got five goals from Pimentel, one from Francisco Velasquez, one from Alejandro Gonzaloz and a goal from Juan Vasquez. Joseph Modesto and Frank Cost split time in the net, combining for East Union’s seventh shut out on the season and its second in a row.

The Lancers (8-5-1 VOL, 11-8-2 overall) will look to close out the regular season on a four-game winning streak when they make the trip to Ceres to take on Central Valley and then take on crosstown rival Manteca High in the VOL season finale. Weston Ranch (4-8-2 VOL) will bring its season to a close with a road game against Ceres High Thursday.

Sonora 5, Manteca 4
A 4-1 halftime lead proved to be the beginning of the end as Sonora High scord four unanswered goals on its way to a come-from-behind win over the Buffaloes in VOL action.

Manteca scored early and often in its wind-aided possessions of the first half, but could not muster a second half score, giving the Wildcats just enough room to steal the win.

“Whichever team had the win at their back really held a serious advantage,” Manteca head coach Justin Coenenberg said. “The first half we started with the wind at our backs and we were able to go up and pretty much dominante at our end.

“Then we switched sides and they dominated the second half.”

The Buffaloes (3-8-2 VOL) were led by Jose Maravilla who notched a goal and an assist, while teammate Gonzalo Cerna followed suite with a goal and assist as well. Marvin Foerster and Robby Geerlof added goals as well.

The Buffaloes will look to get back on track when they make the trip east to Oakdale to take on the Mustangs Thursday at 4 p.m.