By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Reyes delivers in overtime for Manteca
Placeholder Image

Jocelyn Reyes couldn’t find the mark on easier opportunities.

Manteca’s skillful center attacking midfielder tried volleys and headers from straight on, only to fire them directly to Benicia keeper Madison Goodmiller or miss the goal entirely.

She finally cashed in during overtime of the reigning champion Buffaloes’ 2-1 win in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs Wednesday, and she managed to do so with a higher degree of difficulty compared to her previous attempts.

Late in the first of two extra periods, Kaitlynn Funsch spearheaded a counter-attack down the left flank and centered it toward Reyes, who eventually controlled it along the end line near the left post. Reyes said her first inclination was to cross it given awkward angle at the goal. She went against her instincts and blasted it high above Goodmiller’s reach and into the upper netting.

“We couldn’t lose this game,” Reyes said. “I figured we had to take any shot possible and try to get one in.”

The eighth-seeded Buffaloes (17-5-2) took the lead for good in the 88th minute and held off the No. 9 Benicia (13-6) from there. 

“I think we could have stepped up just a little bit, but we made it happen in the end and that’s all that matters,” Reyes added.

Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said his team will have to play be better moving forward. The title defense resumes Friday in Folsom where top-seeded Vista del Lago (16-2-3) awaits. 

“Honestly, in the last three years I think that’s the worst playoff game we’ve had,” Coenenberg said. “It wasn’t anything they did, we made some mistakes and it’s the flattest we’ve played all year. The playoff intensity wasn’t there for some reason. I think it’s a huge wake-up call for us. Hopefully we got that out of our system.”

Even if the Buffaloes weren’t at their best they still had chances to end it in regulation. They finished with a 26-11 advantage on shot attempts and had nine corner kicks to the Panthers’ two.

Funsch gave Manteca its first lead in the 20th minute with a routine touch set up by Kaley Miller’s cross. Reyes nearly doubled the lead four minutes later when she connected on Alexa Mayen’s corner kick with a head shot, but Goodmiller (11 saves) leaped straight up to deflect it away.

“The opportunities were there, but they’re very good defensively and their goalie made some good saves,” Coenenberg said.

Although Manteca dominated the second half, Benicia had enough chances to give the Buffaloes reason for worry. Julia Lindemuth nailed the right post in the 50th minute, and Manteca’s Miller hit the crossbar on a 1-on-1 try midway through the half.

The Panthers nothced the equalizer in the 68th minute when Antonia Diaz turned quickly on Sophia Jacobs’ pass and blasted it into the upper right corner of the net. Their opportunities were limited for the remainder of the match, and Manteca kept chipping away until Reyes delivered in overtime.

“Amazing goal,” Coenenberg said. “I still don’t know how she scored that.”