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Manteca nets Valley Oak win
Penalty kick lifts Buffaloes past EU Lancers
Mantecas Katilynn Funsch (8) battles for the ball with East Unions Chole Cardines (7) during Saturdays varsity game at Dino Cunial Field. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Manteca’s Jocelyn Reyes got to live the dream Saturday.

With time running out and the score tied, cross-town rival East Union was whistled for a foul outside the box on the wing. Reyes bent the ensuing direct kick over the wall and toward the left corner where it went off of the goalie’s outstretched hands and into the net, leading to a 2-1 Valley Oak League win for the visiting Buffaloes at Dino Cunial Field.

“I was thinking I was ready to hit the left corner and curve it in,” Reyes said. “I wanted to hit it with power to get a good shot off and I did. I am just ecstatic.

“That is always a dream, and it feels good to get it in front of everyone who has supported me.”

Three minutes before the game winner, Manteca goalie came out of the box on a Lancers breakaway and forced the shot to go wide of the net.

“We have been working on coming out all week,” McVey said. “I did what I had to do and it worked.”

The Buffaloes (5-3 VOL, 11-4-1) scored first 10 minutes into the game on a goal by Carolyn Morrish assisted by Kaley Miller.  

“It was an exciting game,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “Back and forth, we created some opportunities and they created some opportunities and it came down to the last minute when Josie (Reyes) placed that ball perfectly.

“Cat (McVey) does a great job. She is fearless and works hard. She is not even a full-time keeper, she loves to play in the field too. So she kind of takes that aggressiveness and takes it to the goalie position – she has no problem coming out.”

Ilena Rivera got the Lancers (6-2-1, 10-3-1) on the board early in the second half when she stayed on top of a loose ball midway into the box and arced it into the net to tie the score at 1-1.

“I was motivated to get it in the back of the net,” Rivera said. “Once that happened our whole game changed.

“I was dribbling it and they kept kicking it and bouncing off of everybody and I just ran through the ball.”

After getting five shots on goal in the first half, East Union could manage only two in the second half. 

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Lancers coach Rileigh Mankin said. “I watched them play against Sierra and they are fast, probably the fastest team in the league. We knew it was going to be tight and we had to bring our best game.

“That was an unfortunate free kick at the end.” 

McVey had seven saves and Isabella Cruz made four saves for East Union.