Brandon Landwehr’s powerful throw-ins in the attacking third of the field are like corner kicks for Manteca.
He had an extra boost behind him with a strong wind to his back on an assisted goal during the Buffaloes’ 2-0 win over Lathrop Thursday at Guss Schmiedt Field.
Landwehr helped break the scoreless tie in the 62nd minute when his throw-in connected with Kevin Rodriguez, who headed home the winning goal.
Later, Jason Maravilla deflected in Jesus Ponce’s low cross for the insurance score. Manteca didn’t end up needing it because of its dominant defensive effort. Goalie Abdiel Chaquito came up with four saves but was hardly tested, as the Buffaloes held a 15-5 advantage in shots attempted.
“In the first half we were going into the wind, but we were still able to do a good job of possessing the ball and limiting (Lathrop’s) opportunities,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “In the second half we had the wind to our backs and just played better ball.”
Coenenberg credited converted sweeper Ramon Rodriguez for his play.
“He was an offensive midfielder last year, but we really needed him in the back this year. It turns out he’s an unbelievable defender. He does an amazing job of controlling things, which is huge for our more inexperienced defenders.”
The win keeps Manteca (5-1, 13-1-1 overall) on pace with Valley Oak League leader Oakdale.
Sierra 2, Sonora 0
Bryan Ramos scored once, and Cesar Martinez converted a penalty kick as the Timberwolves (4-1-1, 6-42) escaped an important road win.
Juan Acosta contributed an assist. Sierra was in full control of the match, as evidenced by the 15-3 discrepancy in shots.
Oakdale 4, W. Ranch 0
Weston Ranch (2-3-1, 10-4-2) had their winless streak stretched to four Thursday. The Cougars last won on Sept. 19 at East Union but has since lost to Sonora, Manteca and Oakdale and tied Lathrop.
They had chances to strike first early on, but Oakdale’s Juan Rangel punched in a goal to slow the Cougars’ early momentum. Tony Ott doubled the deficit for Weston Ranch, and Davis Harper snuck in the third goal just before the end of the opening half. Harry Harris capped scoring for the Mustangs (5-0-1, 10-3-4).
“We had a couple of wide open looks that we needed to capitalize on,” Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros said. “(Oakdale) is a good team. I felt like we still had a chance if we can go into halftime down 2-0, but after they scored toward the end of the first half we just got outplayed after that.
“I know my guys have responded well to adversity before. This is just another challenge.”
Kimball 3, East Union 2
The struggling Lancers (2-4, 2-7-2) nearly salvaged tie after falling behind by three scores Thursday.
Jose Luis Cerda netted both of East Union’s goals in the final 15 minutes. He first buried a penalty kick before his head shot off Mario Zuniga’s free kick touched net.
East Union had one opportunity to strike again in the final minutes but was thwarted by a clutch save by the Kimball keeper.