Natasha Honore scored two goals for East Union and helped the Lancers secure the Valley Oak League’s second seed with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Manteca in the regular-season girls soccer finale Wednesday at Dino Cunial Field.
“We knew the winner of this game would take second,” Lancers coach Carlos Gaspar said. “In fact, if it was a tie, they would take second. Manteca is a really good team and it is hard to play against a team like that being down 2-0 and then come back to win.
“I am proud of our performance and now we are getting ready for the playoffs.”
With the score tied 2-2, Jasmine Mejia scored on a throw-in from Chelsey Medeiro with 13 minutes left in the game to give East Union (10-2-2 VOL, 15-5-2 overall) a lead it would not relinquish.
“I had to do anything I could to make that goal so we could win and move into second place,” Mejia said. Chelsey (Medeiro) did a long throw in and it was open and I headed it and then kicked it in.”
The Lancers tied the game on a left-footed goal from Natasha Honore midway through the second half.
“I’m not really good with my left foot,” Honore said.
In the 24th minute Honore was able to get a rebound back into the net to get East Union on the board and make the score 2-1.
“It was hard to control the ball on that first goal,” Honore said. “It was off of a header by Jasmine (Mejia) and I volleyed us in. It was just the right place at the right time.”
Kaitlynn Funsch gave the Buffaloes (10-2-2 VOL, 18-5-2 overall) a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute and five minutes later Melissa Poncini arced a 25-yard shot into the net to make the score 2-0.
Both teams will now await the release of the Sac-Joaquin Section brackets on Friday for information on their first-round games on Wednesday.
“Of course we wanted to go out and get the win,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “But if you are not first, then second or third is not a huge difference. In playoffs you are still going to have to go through the same teams and you are going to play everyone eventually.
“I think we might be able to still get a home game because the VOL gets a lot of respect. The most important thing is we have a week to hopefully get everyone healthy and if we can get healthy I think we can make a good run.”
Ripon 4, Hughson 0
RIPON — Cindy Alvarez capped scoring in the 59th minute, and Megan Johnson assisted the first goal of the game as the four-year starters played their final regular-season home game for the second-place Indians (8-1-1 Trans-Valley League, 13-4-2 overall).
Devaney Dougherty, Madison Pugh and Hailey Pugh each contributed a goal. Ariana Scholten had an assist. Ashley Pugh had two saves at goal with much of the action forced on Hughson’s defensive third, where the Indians attempted 43 shots on goal.
East Union 5, Manteca 1
The Lancers (10-1-3 VOL, 18-4-4 overall) trailed 1-0 at halftime and bounced back in the second half.
“We started out really flat,” East Union coach Ronnie Green said. “Not to take anything away from Manteca High, they came out the first half and played great, but in the second half I made some changes and moved some guys back to where they normally played and we started working the ball through.
“We scored in the first minute of the second half and that kind of opened up the door.”
Jonathon Quintana got that quick goal for the Lancers in the second half off of an assist from Jesus Hurtado. Jacob Garcia, Oziel Jauregi, Oscar Soto and Hurtado added a goal apiece with two assists from Soto and one from Garcia.
Late in the first half Eric Gonzales gave the Buffaloes (1-11-2, 1-16-2) a 1-0 lead on an assist from Ferdinand Rocha.
“We knew they were going to come out strong in the second half,” Manteca coach Daniel Guevara said. “Especially with us leading 1-0.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t hold our ground and they capitalized on that. We did not follow through on our momentum.”
East Union 2, Manteca 1
The Lancers claimed the Valley Oak League title with goals by Jasmime Mast and Jasmine Martinez.
Cynthia Romero played well in the goal for East Union.
East Union 10, Manteca 0
The Lancers wrapped up the season undefeated overall and league champions, going 14-0 in the VOL and 24-0-2 overall.
Jonathan Diaz led East Union with two goals with Pearce Kemptner, Jagmeet Gill and Gabriel Gutierrez each adding a goal.
Fernando Ambriz and Marco Galvan combined in the goal for the Lancers to post a shutout