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SOCCER: East Union girls avoid upset loss
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OAKDALE — East Union’s girls soccer team had to overcome a shaky start for a second straight match, this time coming from behind to claim a 3-2 victory Wednesday and take sole possession of first place in the Valley Oak League.
Sierra remains unbeaten in league, but its match at Kimball was postponed. The Lancers (7-1, 13-2-1) were coming off a 5-1 win over rival Manteca but needed a sudden second-half outburst to break away.
Jasmine Mejia anchored the comeback Wednesday, scoring twice. East Union dominated its first meeting with Oakdale (2-4-2, 6-7-3) this season, 4-1.
“The field conditions were not perfect, it was like playing in a swamp,” East Union coach Carlos Gaspar said. “No excuses, both teams had to play on the same field. We just have to capitalize on our chances.”
His Lancers outshot Oakdale 16-5 but were in trouble at the outset. The Mustangs jumped out to a two-goal lead in the opening 10 minutes and got some good fortune on its second strike as the wet ball slipped through the hands of EU keeper Malia Allen (four saves).
Mejia broke the ice for East Union, getting an assist from freshman midfielder Fatima Jauregui. The Lancers trailed 2-1 at halftime.
Taylor Campbell drilled a direct kick to knot the score early in the second half, and Mejia beat the keeper one-on-one for the go-ahead.
East Union has a long break before its next match at Weston Ranch on Jan. 28.

Manteca 4, Central Catholic 0
MODESTO — The Buffaloes (4-2-2, 7-6-4) picked up an important three points to give themselves some breathing room as the No. 3 side in the VOL. They previously tied Central Catholic (1-5-2, 1-11-2), 1-1.
The rematch was scoreless through one half of play as the host Raiders stifled the Manteca attack with their defensive stance. Manteca finally broke through six minutes into the second half with Kaley Miller putting away a deflection off Caitlynn Wong’s initial shot attempt.
Kaylee Gines, Isabella Avila and Jordyn Silva added a goal apiece. Ashleen Kahar, Wong and Yehudit Vega each contributed an assist. Goalie Willow Stearns picked up three saves.
The Buffs have a bye next Monday and head to Kimball on Jan. 24.

Lathrop 5, Mountain House 3
LATHROP — Kassandra Ceja continued her recent goal-scoring rampage Wednesday, accounting for all five in Lathrop’s come-from-behind victory. Mountain House (2-5-1 Western Athletic Conference, 4-7-1 overall) led 3-1 at one point in the first half and 3-2 at halftime.
The game changed in the second half as Lathrop (5-3, 6-6-1) changed its formation to take advantage of a strong tailwind.
“I put all of my best players up front,” said Lathrop coach Jose Montes, who loaded the attacking third with four forwards. “It’s going to be like that every game because we have win every one (to make the playoffs). We can’t hold back now.”
Lathrop is in fourth place in the WAC, which only sends the top three to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

Varsity boys
Mountain House 3, Lathrop 1

MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Chris Alvarez netted the lone goal for Lathrop (0-6-1, 0-14-1) in the second half. The junior varsity lost, 3-2.