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Sierra wraps up VOL season with spotless record
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WESTON RANCH — Nicole Vanni hit the half-century mark with two more goals, and Sierra wrapped up a dominating run through the Valley Oak League season with an 8-0 win over Weston Ranch Thursday.

The Timberwolves (14-0, 25-0-1 overall) clinched the conference championship outright with Tuesday’s 6-0 shellacking of three-time defending titlist Sonora.

Vanni, who now owns the program record for most career goals with 104 and counting, has scored 50 times this season to lead the state. She opened scoring Thursday off an assist from Brooke Grant in the 12th minute, and she returned the favor as Grant booted in the Timberwolves’ next two goals.

Vanni finished with four assists, giving her 17 for the year, and one went to sophomore sibling Stephanie Vanni. The younger Vanni had a goal and an assist, as did Michaela Scott.

Amy McFerran recorded Sierra’s only goal in the second half. Diana Alfaro chipped in a goal, and Sydnee Koscielcki contributed an assist.

With the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs up next for the Timberwolves coach Manuel Pires rested most of his starters for most of the second half to keep them fresh,

“We have some players that are banged up, so we have to keep them rested before we put in a good week of practice for the playoffs,” Pires said. “Our focus was to keep the intensity up and move the ball around efficiently.

“But I have to give Weston Ranch credit; they never give up and play all the way through. (Weston Ranch coach Carlos Gaspar) has done a great job, and that program has come a long ways.”

Weston Ranch closes the regular season at 0-14 but has taken strides under its first-year coach. The Cougars’ shining moment came in the preseason, when they claimed the Big Valley Tournament title.

 “I’ve never coached a team that has the heart that this team does,” Gaspar said. “It’s not always about winning. Soccer is about having fun and giving 100 percent no matter what the score is.”

Sierra will begin its run for a possible fourth section championship May 12 against the Pioneer Valley League’s third-place team.

— Jonamar Jacinto