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Hurtados hat trick highlights East Unions landslide win
BSOC--Valley-East Union pic 3 copy
East Unions Giovanni Ruelas (9) tries to beat Valleys Arturo Ambriz (3) to the ball. - photo by Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER

A 15-minute delay, sloppy field conditions and stretches of torrential rain did little to slow down East Union in its Sac-Joaquin Section Division III opener Tuesday with visiting Valley of Sacramento.
The Lancers looked the part of a No. 1 seed in their 6-1 win. Jesus Hurtado had a hat trick in limited action, and Hector Romero added two goals of his own.
East Union (18-1-4) hosts No. 8-seeded Bethel from Vallejo in the quarterfinal round Thursday back at Dino Cunial Field.
“We’re the first seed, so we’re not trying to go out in the first round,” Hurtado said. “We tried our best to do as much as we can in the first half, and then in the second half we played more calm.”
In the calm before the storm, representatives from Valley expressed concerned about the field, namely standing water in one area near the East Union bench. East Union coaches and players filled it with sand before the game started.
“We’ve played on worse fields,” East Union coach Edgar Zelaya said.
His Lancers couldn’t have played much better Tuesday.
Hurtado registered his first goal in the 10th minute and was set up by his brother Victor. Ten minutes later, defender Trent Rivera delivered a long ball into the penalty box, and Jesus Hurtado beat two defenders and doubled the lead.
Daniel Gomez later sent a through ball to Romero, and East Union rolled into halftime with a commanding 3-0 lead. The Lancers outshot No. 16 Valley (10-8-2) 16-3 in the first half and 26-9 overall. Vikings keeper Randy Lopez did his best to stave off the onslaught, coming up with five of his eight saves in the opening half.
“He had some good saves,” Hurtado said. “We could have scored more but he’s pretty good.”
East Union didn’t let up from there. Hurtado completed the hat trick in the 44th minute on another through pass from Gomez, who was dazzling on the left wing throughout the contest. Gomez was the spark on the Lancers’ final two goals scored by Romero and Zachary Hernandez in the 58th and 60th minutes.
“They’re a great squad,” Valley coach Luis Leon said. “They have a great coaching staff and I think they’re going to do fine in the playoffs. It was actually a great learning experience for my boys to come out and play these guys. It was a fun night for all of us, even though we lost.”
Alexis Flores scored the lone goal for Valley, getting some good fortune along the way. He slipped a low shot from long range past East Union second-half goalie Jose Modesto, who was in position to stop it. That made it 4-1, but the Lancers, even with reserves in game, were already in full control.
“The kids are hungry to win the whole thing,” Zelaya said. “Tomorrow we’ll go back to work.”