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Manteca dispatches Lathrop in annual Kicking for a Cure game
Lathrop-Manteca girls soccer
Lathrop’s Guadalupe Zepedea (19) and Manteca’a Jenna Poncini battle for the ball. - photo by Wayne Thallander

Sometimes, sports take a back seat to something bigger, and Friday night was one of those nights.

The Manteca girls soccer team hosted Lathrop on Friday and although the Buffaloes won 5-0 in the annual Kicking for a Cure for Childhood Cancer affair, there was much going on around the pitch at Guss Schmiedt Field to raise money to fight cancer.

“Obviously, we were focused on getting the win, but this game was about something bigger,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “Lathrop was awesome to co-host it, and they came and played and they were able to raise $500 for the cause. We have known (Lathrop assistant) coach Kym (Bordi) for a long time. She played here and coached here, and we have a good relationship with her, so it was nice to have Lathrop come in here.

“We came out and scored a few early. We thought we would move the ball around, and we were able to move some players around and let them play some other positions.”

Galilea Sanchez and Cami Silva each had a brace for Manteca (16-2-4), with Sanchez bookending her two goals with the first and last goals of the game on assists from Corrine Jones in the third minute and Tatiana Orozco and in the 70th minute.  

“One was right in front of the goal,” Sanchez said. “I didn’t want to kick it all the way up because at practice that is what has been happening. I just kept it in my mind to keep it on the ground.

“The other one was from pretty far. I just looked up and tried to see an opening.”

Silva got two quick goals following Sanchez’s first in the sixth minute on an assist by Jenna Poncini, and the 14th minute assisted by Sanchez.

“I love playing with these girls,” Silva said. “We all just kind of click, and it is easy to find them.

“I just go out there to have fun and hopefully get a couple – this game I did so and I was pretty happy about that. And I was happy with our performance, because I think we did a lot better today.”

The Buffaloes got their other goal when Silva laid a corner kick in the middle of the field, bouncing off of a Spartans defender for Leslie Cruz-Sanchez to power into the net in the 19th minute.

Lathrop (8-9-3) had its best opportunity late in the game on a penalty kick, but Manteca goalie Haylie Brasil was able to block the attempt and maintain her clean sheet.

“I made eye contact with her,” Brasil said of the penalty kick. “Usually, when I do that I can pretty much guess where they are going to go.

“It makes them nervous when I stare at them. I broke right when she kicked it.”

Manteca outshot the Spartans 26-6, but Lathrop did play a better second half.

“The first half we got into our heads too much, but the second half was much better.” Spartans coach Diana Nevarez said. “I know the score doesn’t show it, but we had a great time for a great cause and we were just happy and lucky to be a part of it.”

The two teams resume league play Monday night at 6 when Lathrop travels to Los Banos for a Western Athletic Conference contest and the Buffaloes travel to Tracy for a Valley Oak League tilt against Kimball at 6:45.


Junior varsity

Manteca 3, Lathrop 1

Gaby Ramos tallied a brace for the Buffaloes and Bianca Ramos chipped in one goal.

Ariana Garcia scored a goal for Lathrop.