It took 80-plus minutes for Sierra’s boys soccer team to find the net, but it was all the Timberwolves could muster in their stunning 2-1 Sac-Joaquin Section Division III first-round loss to visiting Mira Loma on Tuesday.
The No. 13 Matadors (10-4-2) were able to convert on their fewer scoring opportunities, striking twice on free kicks including the go-ahead goal in overtime. Fourth-seeded Sierra (15-6-3) played a man down in the two 10-minute extra periods but came up empty-handed as it continued to pressure the defense.
“We could have scored at least one or two more goals, but this was not one of our better games,” Sierra coach Joe Pires said. “You have to give it to them, they got the goals and we didn’t. It was a frustrating night.”
The Valley Oak League champion hadn’t lost since Jan. 3, and its quest for a second straight SJS title-round appearance — the Timberwolves lost to Pacheco in penalty kicks in last year’s Division IV final — ended much sooner than expected.
Mira Loma jumped ahead in the 47th minute on a set piece and nearly sealed the upset in regulation, but Sierra came through with the equalizer in stoppage time. Tristan Gonzalez sent a long free kick into the box, and Alex Cervantes was there to knock it into the goal.
The Timberwolves were already down a player at that point. At about the 70th minute, goalie Luis Acosta earned a red-card ejection for a dangerous tackle just outside the 18-yard line. With no back-up keeper available, defender Gerardo Sanchez filled the role for the remainder of the match.
Mira Loma heads to Merced Thursday to take on No. 5 Buhach Colony, which blanked No. 12 Grace Davis, 2-0.
Division III girls
Benicia 2, East Union 0
BENICIA — The Solano County Athletic Conference champion Panthers (18-5-1) scored on a direct kick in the 12th minute and iced the win with a late goal in the Nos. 8-9 matchup.
Benicia awaits the winner of tonight’s Rio American-Lincoln match. Rio Americano is the top-seeded team in the bracket.
East Union (15-6-2) had an opportunity to deliver the first blow early, but Jasmine Mejia’s attempt was blocked by the Benicia keeper. The Lancers otherwise struggled to mount an attack.
“I can take losing a game knowing that the girls played to their potential, but they came out flat today,” East Union coach Carlos Gaspar said. “It was just not our game. Whether we are home or away we have to be ready to play, and we did not look ready to play. It wasn’t the team that got us to this point.”
Division IV boys
Weston Ranch 1
OLIVEHURST — The ninth-seeded Cougars (7-14-3) more than held their own after trailing Lindhurst (14-6-1) by two goals at halftime.
Weston Ranch was minus three key senior starters, but frosh-soph call-up Elvin Bolanos filled in admirably and scored the team’s lone goal. Francisco Vega finished with eight saves.
“It was probably some of the best soccer we’ve played all year, especially in the second half,” Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros said. “We were sharing the ball, touching it quickly and creating opportunities. We hit the post a few times and were inches away from tying it up. We pretty much had a good team on their heels for the entire second half.”
Lindhurst heads to top-seeded Galt on Thursday.