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Repeat MVP improved numbers despite extra attention from defenses
SOC--All-VOL selections file 1
Joseph Mayorca (10) celebrates one of his two goals in Weston Ranchs 5-1 win at Sierra that clinched the Valley Oak League championship for the Cougars. Mayorca is the league MVP for a second consecutive year. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

Teams were more aware of Joseph Mayorca this year, but there was still no stopping Weston Ranch’s talented striker.

Mayorca had career highs in goals scored (42) and assists (16) and was voted MVP of the Valley Oak League for a second year in a row. Francisco Cisneros guided the Cougars (11-2-1 VOL, 24-4-2 overall) to back-to-back VOL and Sac-Joaquin Section titles and was named Coach of the Year. They beat league rival Oakdale 2-0 last Saturday for the Division III championship and captured the Division IV banner in 2014. 

“This year more than ever, JoJo had a big target on his back,” Cisneros said. “Teams focused on him more, and just when I thought that last year would be hard for him to repeat he comes out and has an even better season in every aspect. The guy is just incredible.”

Mayorca finished his decorated three-year varsity career with 96 goals and 30 assists. His scoring total for this year ranks him third in the section. He amassed 21 goals and five assists in 14 league games and factored into the scoring in 11 of them. He also had four hat tricks, three of them coming in succession.

With league runner-up Oakdale (10-1-3, 20-4-5) and third-place East Union (9-3-2, 12-4-2) not represented in the all-league coaches meeting, more spots were available for postseason honors. Sierra (9-3-2, 16-9-2) had five first-team selections, Weston Ranch had four, and Manteca and Lathrop had one apiece.

Junior forward Eddie Aguilar enjoyed a breakout campaign, accumulating 37 goals and nine assists to lead Sierra. Fellow Timberwolves joining him on the All-VOL first team were senior forward Pedro Maciel (16 goals, five assists), freshman goalie Saul Aguiniga (4.5 saves per game, six shutouts), center defender Jonathan Vargas and midfielder Eriq Kurys (goal, 10 assists). Midfielder David Lopez (seven goals, 10 assists) and defender Jesse Semenza made the second team.

Kevin Rodriguez is the lone all-league member for Manteca (3-9-2, 8-12-2). The third-year varsity midfielder is on the first team after leading the Buffaloes with nine goals and 14 assists. Sophomore defender Ronaldo Macias of Lathrop (0-13-1, 0-19-1) also made the first team.

Weston Ranch has three senior defenders on the first team: Alex Gonzalez, Miguel Morales and Esteban Paramo. Cisneros said the trio was key to the team’s success after it lost two all-league fullbacks to graduation last year. Midfielders Jose Espinoza (seven goals, 13 assists) and Omar Centeno (nine goals, 10 assists), defender Eduardo Medina and keeper Eduardo Acosta (1.4 saves, 1.0 goals allowed per game) are second-team selections.

Of Weston Ranch’s all-league players, only two are not seniors. The team graduates 15 this year.

“This group of kids is unbelievable,” Cisneros said. “They won the VOL as freshmen (on the frosh-soph team) literally took us from being the last place team to being in the section finals three years in a row.

“Last year we were solid everywhere and had no weaknesses, but this year we were vulnerable in some spots. We somehow came together as a team and got stronger and we went on.”

Earning honorable mention were: East Union’s Alex Velasquez, Kyle Niendorf and Gerardo Romero; Lathrop’s Roni Hafed, Christian Cardenas, Luis Angel Vargas and Jesus Gomez; Manteca’s Josh Kong, Aron Navarrete and Ramon Rojas; Sierra’s Joel Lemus, Athen Gonsalves, Justin Ruiz and Zimri Rico; and Weston Ranch’s Mariano Perez, Deon Coffey and Bryant Ortiz.