STOCKTON — Lathrop’s girls soccer team will gladly take points in the Valley Oak League standings any way it can at this point.
With several starters still missing from the starting lineup, the Spartans were able to sneak away from Weston Ranch with a 1-1 draw Friday thanks to Kayla DeAnda’s penalty kick in the 65th minute. Lathrop (0-2-1, 3-3-2 overall) has players injured, sick or on vacation for winter break. Included is reigning league MVP Kassandra Ceja, who is in Florida for an Olympic Development Academy Camp.
“We are playing girls who have hardly played before, but now they’re going all 80 minutes,” Lathrop coach Jose Montes said. “It’s a good learning experience for them. I thought our team came out a little intimidated because their girls are bigger. (Weston Ranch) pretty much dominated the first half, but we were more aggressive after that.”
That aggression was rewarded in the second half. Moments after Weston Ranch keeper Aliyah Guerrero came up with one of her five saves, she was called for a foul in the penalty box as players scrambled to control the loose ball.
The Cougars (0-2-1, 3-9-2) opened scoring in the 30th minute with Laysha Alvarado cashing in off a feed from Judith Ramirez.
Weston Ranch is also playing shorthanded and started the match with 13 available players. Matters were made worse in the final minute when two Cougars were ejected with red cards, forcing them to play down two players on the field.
Weston Ranch coach Gabe Padilla said the game could have been decided much earlier.
“We totally had control of the game but halftime hurt us,” he said. “We had to catch a break after building all this momentum, then we started the first 15 minutes (of the second half) a little complacent. Give (Lathrop) credit, they started chipping away and took the momentum away.”
Sierra 4, Kimball 0
TRACY — It took some time for the Timberwolves (3-0-0, 12-0-1) to solve Kimball’s defensive formation, and it was all four of the team captains who came through with goals.
Callie Crain was involved in their first two goals in the 31st and 35th minutes. Jasmine Loaiza assisted the ice breaker delivered by Crain, who then sent a through ball to Daisy Valencia to double the lead.
Yolanda Tavares and Jadyn Shinn found the net in the 46th and 59th minutes, allowing Sierra to clear the bench as it prepares for a tough stretch in the schedule.
“These are two teams playing back-to-back games, and we play two tough teams next week (Manteca and Central Catholic),” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said. “It was nice to be able to play everybody.”
Weston Ranch 2
STOCKTON — Crystal Chavez and Angelique Moreno accounted for Weston Ranch’s goals. Lizbeth Perez finished with 12 saves.