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SOCCER: Gonzalez scores again as Weston Ranch sets up 1st-place battle
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It took the Weston Ranch boys soccer team nearly a full half to find the back of the net on Tuesday in a Valley Oak League road contest with Oakdale.
Despite a relatively slow offensive start — with Edgar Molina’s late first-half goal the only scoring play in the game’s first 40 minutes — standout striker Robert Gonzalez made the most of his second-half opportunity by converting a penalty kick and extending his VOL scoring streak to five games in a 2-0 Cougar victory that keeps the squad in first place.
While the slow pace wasn’t exactly what Weston Ranch head coach Francisco Cisneros was hoping for, Francisco Vega’s four saves and his second consecutive clean sheet served as a counterbalance.
But it was Gonzalez, Cisneros said, that proved to be the difference.
“It’s always good to have a clean sheet like that,” Cisneros said. “But Robert (Gonzalez) has been having an MVP-type year, scoring in every single league game.
“He’s been on this incredible stretch where he is finding the back of the net every game, and a player like that makes everybody around him better. He demands a lot of attention, and it’s nice to have somebody drawing that attention because it frees up the rest of the guys.”
Weston Ranch (5-0 VOL) will travel to Sierra (4-1 VOL) on Thursday for a battle for the league’s top spot. The game is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

Sierra 5, Central Catholic 1
Miguel Villaseñor couldn’t miss Tuesday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, scoring the Timberwolves’ first four goals.
Gerardo Magana scored the fifth goal, with assists coming from Luis Acosta, Alex Cervantes, Tristan Gonzalez, Joey Velasquez, and Magana.
“It was a good game — we got everyone in tonight,” Sierra High head coach Joe Pires said. “We’re now back from the holidays trying to get everyone in-sync on the soccer routine as the VOL is a very competitive league.”
Sierra (4-1 VOL) will host Weston Ranch (5-0) on Thursday in a battle for the league’s top spot. The game is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

East Union 6, Kimball 1
A hat trick from German Gonzalez helped East Union keep pace with VOL-leading Weston Ranch.
But after a fast start — with Edward Mata feeding Gonzalez for a goal in the game’s third minute — things slowed down drastically for the Lancers, who couldn’t punch the ball in for the remainder of the first half.
That didn’t last long. They came out of halftime and scored two goals in the first two minutes off of defensive steals half to blow the door open and dominate the possession game as they picked apart the Kimball defense and maintained the aggressive press that they’re known for.
“The first half we started to use the long ball with the wind, and that’s not the kind of game that we usually play,” East Union head coach Ronnie Green said. “We came out and put pressure on them immediately in the second half and stole the ball and made something happen within 10 seconds.
“The second goal of the half was scored the same way, and after that we just dominated the game.”
Gio Padilla also scored a pair of goals for the Lancers, who improved to 4-1 in the Valley Oak League. They will travel to Guss Schmiedt Field on Thursday to take on the rival Manteca Buffaloes at 5:45 p.m.

Riverbank 3, Ripon 0
Visiting Ripon gave up an early goal but held off the Bruins for the remainder of the opening half. The Indians’ inability to capitalize on their own scoring chances came back to haunt them, and Riverbank broke it open with the second half.
“We were moving forward, and I thought that we did well building up and passing and getting to spots, and we had opportunities, but we just didn’t get the ball in the back of the net,” Ripon head coach Robert Alvarez said. “It’s something that we’ve got to keep working on.”
With the loss, Ripon drops to 1-3 in Trans Valley League play and will look to rebound on Thursday when they host Livingston at Stouffer Field at 5 p.m.

Le Grand 8, Ripon Christian 1
For Ripon Christian coach Christian Manes, the 8-1 score on Tuesday against Southern League powerhouse Le Grand didn’t tell the whole story of the game.
The Knights’ defensive effort, he said, was mostly solid, with his goalkeeper pulling in 22 saves. And his offense showed flashes of brilliance even if they were few and far between.
But it was the team’s goal, which came in the 75th minute when Will Clark tickled the twine to ruin Le Grand’s clean sheet, that showed him what he wanted to see.
“They’re one of the stronger opponents that we have seen, and we did have a few defensive mistakes tonight,” Manes said. “But I’m proud of my guys for sticking with it – that’s what we pride ourselves in.
“We’re out here to play the whole 80 minutes, and we showed that tonight by not giving up when we were down by a lot of goals. I pride myself on that, and my guys do as well.”
With the loss, Ripon Christian falls to 0-3-1 in Southern League play, and will look to rebound on Friday when they host Waterford at 6:30 p.m.

Varsity girls
Ripon Christian 2, Le Grand 0

The Ripon Christian girls soccer team maintained their spot at the top of the Southern League.
Rachel Oosterman put Ripon Christian on the board in the 10th minute when she took Elle van Wyngarden’s pass and beat the goalkeeper, and just 10 minutes returned the favor when she fed Van Wyngarden a ball right in front of the net for the match’s second and final goal.
In all Ripon Christian put 16 shots on goal, and goalkeeper Madi De Graaf stopped the lone Le Grant shot to record a shutout.
With the win Ripon Christian improves to 3-0-1 on in Southern League play, tied with Mariposa, will host Waterford on Friday at 5 p.m.

Ripon 7, Riverbank 0
RIPON — The Indians managed to fire off 30 shots while holding Riverbank without an attempt.
Aubree Pelon led the offensive assault for Ripon with three goals, while Haley Petersen netted a pair and both Kailey Tijero and Ariana Scholton tickled the twine to round out the Indians’ offensive barrage.
Scholton also recorded three assists while Devaney Dougherty recorded a pair and Kierra Chavez and Nicole Brown each contributed one to the effort.
With the win, Ripon improves to 3-0 in Trans Valley League play, and will travel to fellow league unbeaten Livingston on Thursday for a showdown for first place. The match is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

Junior varsity boys
East Union 3, Kimball 1

Cristian Perez, Joseph Galapon and Samuel Diaz each scored for the Lancers, who remain unbeaten in the VOL at 5-0.