STOCKTON – Despite a sloppy field, Manteca managed three goals within six minutes midway through the first half and added three more in the second as Leah Manuleleua notched a hat trick to lead the Buffaloes to a 6-0 win over host Weston Ranch to open Valley Oak League play on Monday.
“It was a little sloppy with the conditions,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “It seemed like just enough rain to make it slippery. The grass had just been mowed and it was caking on their shoes and they were falling and slipping all over the place. We have played in worse conditions then this and for some reason they just could not stay on their feet.
“But we were a little better in the second half. We were able to control the pace of the game and dominate possession, creating opportunities.
Natalia Duran got the Buffaloes (1-0 VOL, 6-1 overall) on the board in the 16th minute when she knocked a rebound back in for a 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later Manuleleua headed in a corner kick from Alexa Mayan to bump the score to 2-0.
“I don’t practice that a lot,” Mayen said of her corner kick. “But I do it in the game.”
Manuleleua made it 3-0 in the 22nd minute when she knocked in a rebound.
“It was a good team win,” Manuleleua said. “The conditions weren’t good, but we were connecting well and moving the ball well and transitioning from defense to offense.”
Manteca kept up its 25-0 shooting barrage in the second half when the Buffaloes got three goals in the final eight minutes: Manuleleua scored on an assist from Jocelyn Reyes, Kaitlynn Funsch added another goal on an assist from Lejla Pepic and Ashlee Miller booted the final goal in the closing seconds on a corner kick from Carly Morrish.
The 5-2 non-league record for the Cougars (0-1, 5-3) in non-league competition has set a program record for season wins and matched the cumulative win total for the last three seasons.
“Our girls had a successful pre-season and today was a big-time measuring stick for us,” Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros said. “They are a great program and have been a great program for a long time.
“Our league is very tough. I felt like there was a lot to learn from this game for our girls and next game we will apply some of the things we learned.”
Central Catholic 3
MODESTO — The two most improved VOL teams matched up Monday and ended in a stalemate after Central Catholic (0-0-1, 4-1-1) erased a two-goal deficit in the second half.
Jadyn Shinn’s potential go-ahead goal late in the match bounced off the crossbar for Sierra (11-0-3) and the host Raiders had their own potential game-winners thwarted by Timberwolves goalie Emma Broderick (nine saves).
Yasmin Ballew, Kyndra Kiser and Shinn each scored a goal in the first half. Sierra takes on defending league and Sac-Joaquin Section champion East Union on Wednesday.
“We were leading 3-1 at halftime but I knew it was going to be a battle because they have a good attacking team,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said. “We were fortunate that our goalkeeper made some outstanding saves and so did theirs. It was a really good game.”
East Union 6, Lathrop 0
Six different players scored for the Lancers, who took full control early on and led 4-0 by halftime at Dino Cunial Field.
Goal scorers were Skylar Treacy, Julia Vigallon, Britney Moneyhun, Clarissa Leccee, Bella Cardenas and Stephanie Flores.
Weston Ranch 0
Alejandra Delgadillo and Alma Gonzalez each had goal for the Buffaloes.