MODESTO — It all comes down to Wednesday’s Valley Oak League finale at East Union for first-place Manteca.
The Buffaloes have their first league championship since 2005 in sight after crushing Central Catholic 4-0 on Monday. Manteca (11-1-1 VOL, 20-2-1 overall) leads second-place Sierra by a point and will likely need to beat postseason hopeful East Union at Dino Cunial Field. Sierra closes with Weston Ranch, which has just two league wins.
Central Catholic (7-4-2, 11-5-2) already has one of four Sac-Joaquin Section postseason berths wrapped up. Oakdale and East Union, which played to a draw Monday, are tied for fourth with Kimball on their heels.
“Anytime you can control your own destiny, that’s where you want to be,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “The girls are excited to be in this position at this point, especially with how tough the VOL is, but we have our work cut out for us because East Union is a very good team.”
Central Catholic was behind the 8-ball to start the match with standout striker Taylor Osnaya serving a red-card suspension. The Raiders started out in a defensive shell until Ivy Benson and Leah Manuleleua scored to give Manteca a 2-0 halftime lead.
Manuleleua later assisted Lejla Pepic’s goal in the second half, and Sarah Vegas rounded out scoring off a feed from Daisy Hernandez. Goalie Ashlee Miller finished with nine saves.
“It was evident right from the beginning that they were going to sit back, defend and look to counter — they were really packing it in back there,” Coenenberg said. “Getting that first goal was so important because it forced them to come out and play more aggressively.”
East Union 2,
OAKDALE — Skylar Treacy broke the scoreless tie in the 58th minute, but Oakdale (5-5-3, 12-7-5) answered with goals from Megan Burke and Madison Feuerstein in the 63rd and 73rd.
The Lancers were able to salvage and remain in the hunt for a playoff berth thanks to Rosalia Ravelo’s goal in the final minute. Jenna Zuniga delivered the corner kick, and Clarissa Lecce set up Ravelo with a header.
Both teams have tough assignments to end the regular season with Oakdale heading to Central Catholic. With Oakdale previously defeating East Union, the Lancers will need some help to advance.
Weston Ranch 3,
LATHROP — Weston Ranch (2-11, 7-13) completed its season sweep of the Spartans (0-13, 1-17-1)
Bianca Jimenez, Esmeralda Silva and Lizbeth Ortiz each scored a goal for the Cougars. Jessica Amezqua and Ortiz contributed assists.
Central Catholic 0
MODESTO — Alex Delgadillo punched in a pair of goals in the rout.
Others scoring were Hannah Hart, Alexandria Garcia, Alma Gonzales, Trina Singh, Hazel Vera and Alejandra Rodriguez.
Weston Ranch 9,
LATHROP — Selena Landin racked up six goals as Weston Ranch rolled to a blowout victory.
Cilati Negrette chipped in two goals, and Paula Aguila had one.