Oakdale gave itself some breathing room in the Valley Oak League standings Thursday, warding off visiting Manteca 3-2 for the second time this season.
The Mustangs (7-0-1, 12-3-4 overall) won by the same score in the league opener on Sept. 17. With now four points separating them and second-place Manteca (6-2, 14-2-1) and Sierra, the Buffaloes are going to need some help.
“Once again their team speed gave us some problems,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “It was a battle that went back and forth, back and forth. Our guys didn’t quit playing after going down a goal. We kept pace and stayed right with them.”
Manteca answered Oakdale’s first two goals. Juan Rangel drew first blood for the Mustangs in the fifth minute, but Marcus Montano buried an impressive volley attempt off Jason Maravilla’s feed in the 15th.
Oakdale retook the lead in the 27th minute, but the Buffaloes were again quick to answer. Kevin Rodriguez provided the equalizer with Jesus Ponce dishing the assist in the 30th minute.
The Mustangs went ahead for good eight minutes into the second half. Davis Harper and Austin Burke scored the final two for Oakdale on corner-kick opportunities.
“Giving up that first one so early in the game hurt, but I was happy with the way the guys responded,” Coenenberg said. “On the last two the bounces didn’t go our way. We struggled to defend corner kicks early in the season and got better at it. We hadn’t given up a corner-kick goal in quite some time.”
Oakdale outshot Manteca 14-9, and Buffalo keeper Abdiel Chaquito tallied 10 saves.
Manteca has another tough match ahead with a crosstown visit to Sierra up next. The rematch is set for Tuesday after the reigning co-champions previously dueled to a 3-2 win for Manteca.
East Union 1, Sonora 0
Rigo Jauregui won a 50-50 ball near midfield and seconds later blasted in the winning goal from the 18-yard line at Dino Cunial Field. He did so with roughly five minutes left in the contest.
The East Union frosh-soph team improved to 8-0 in the VOL with a 7-0 blowout of visiting Sonora. Gerardo Ramirez banged in two goals. Oscar Narango, Edgar Avalos, Hector Romero, Victor Hurtado and Arturo Galvan added one apiece.
Ripon Christian 2,
The Knights (4-3, 9-6-2) exacted a little revenge against Waterford (3-2-2, 8-2-2) on Thursday by completing the season sweep on the road. Last year, Waterford was the only team in league two beat RC twice.
Ripon Christian showed resiliency after going down a goal late in the first half, when the Wildcats took advantage of an offsides trap and scored on a breakaway.
“We were playing the more disciplined game, so it was pretty frustrating that we were down a goal,” RC coach Keith Terpsma said.
Not for long.
Ripon Christian continued to pressure the Waterford defense and finally knotted it in the 55th minute when Danny Vander Molen scored off a cross from cousin Travis Vander Molen. Then in the 70th minute, Travis netted a goal of his own with a header of Max Koetsier’s cross.