A header off of a corner kick and a beautiful through ball gave Manteca all the offense it would need Monday to defeat visiting Ripon 2-1 in non-league boys soccer action to kick off the 2017-2018 season.
The Buffaloes’ Alex Herrera got the only goal of the first half when he headed in a corner kick from Brian Sanchez.
“It was a header on the corner,” Herrera said. “I came in from outside the box, jumped over a defender, and headed it in.”
Manteca’s Alexis Lopez capped the night’s scoring when he took a through ball from Sanchez and buried it in the net in the 55th minute.
“I saw a space on the left side,” Lopez said. “I saw that Brian had me so I went to the left, used my speed and controlled the ball and got it in the net.”
The Indians (0-1) got on the board in the 50th minute on a goal by Armando Garcia via an assist from Hector Gonzalez.
“It was a beautiful ball from Hector off the back,” Garcia said. “That left me 1v1 and I had to take it in.”
This was Gabe Keenan’s inaugural game as coach for Ripon.
“This is my first year in the Ripon program,” Keenan said. “It is a good chance to see the boys and how they stack up especially against a larger school like Manteca and I thought we held our own, so I was actually pretty happy.
“We stayed pretty focused on what we tried to work on the last few weeks and I think we executed those things. We definitely have some things to work on. We had a hard time playing the ball out of the back, the midfielders are a little slow springing out but once they get their timing down I think we will be able to compete.”
Daniel Guevara takes over the varsity reigns this season after moving up from the frosh-soph ranks for the Buffaloes.
“It felt really good,” Guevara said. “I did the sophomores last year and this is my first year with the varsity and it was exciting to step up to the challenge.
“Not only that, but to get the win and see the boys excel was great. Not to mention that I have coached a lot of these boys since they were really young and to see them grow up is very overwhelming but in a good way. And to be able to coach them here and have them get a win for their school is awesome, it was very cool.”
Saul Gomez posted six goalie saves for the Indians and Matsua Garcia-Mendez snagged six saves for Manteca.