Sometimes the ball bounces your way.
With Sierra and visiting East Union locked in a tight Valley Oak League girls soccer battle Saturday, the Timberwolves’ Jocelin Roa sent a deep cross to teammate Annalise Paule near the net.
The ball never made it.
A Lancers defender blocked the pass, but unfortunately for the Lancers she blocked it right into the net to give Sierra a one-goal lead it would hold for the final 10 minutes of the contest as the Timberwolves eked out a 2-1 win at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Roa put Sierra (7-0 VOL, 12-3-1 overall) ahead 1-0 in the eighth minute when she beat a pair of defenders and shot into the far side of the net for the goal.
“I had the ball and was trying to find the goal,” Roa said of the game’s first goal. “I saw the goalie off to the left so I shot around her.
“On that own goal, I was trying to get the ball to Annalise Paule on the far post.”
East Union (1-4, 6-6) tied the game in the 53rd minute. The Lancers were on the attack when Timberwolves goalie Annika Bealle came out of her box to grab the ball. A collision ensued and East Union was awarded a penalty kick.
Chloe Silva kicked the ball to her left and Bealle guessed correctly. Silva’s kick was out of Bealle’s range, but it hit the upright, caromed back to the right past Bealle and came to rest just inside the right upright to tie the game at 1-1.
They got a PK for something I don’t think was a PK but I’m not the ref,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said. “They scored, they tied it, so I have to give it to them. They were back in the game and we had to battle all the way through that.
“Then Jocelin (Roa) made a great cross into the box and we had a player ready to put it in but lucky for us their defender put a foot on it and it went onto the back of the net.”
With the exception of the penalty kick, Bealle (four saves) had a clean sheet do in no small part to the Timberwolves defensive effort led by defensive midfielder Preeya Singh.
“We just had to hold our line,” Singh said. “We didn’t have our center back today but her sister (Annika Rose) stepped in and got it done and kept them from getting a lot of counters.”
Pires knew this was going to be a close game.
“Our goal was to get out of here with three points,” Pires said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. Whenever you play your rivalry teams it’s always going to be a battle.”
Lancers goalie Cassiday Pearson did her part to keep East Union in the game with nine saves among the 22 total Sierra shots.
“It was a hard-fought game,” coach Jason Silva said. “Obviously, Sierra is the best team in the league so we just wanted to keep it a close game going into the second half to give ourselves a chance and we did that. At halftime we were down 1-0 so we knew we had a chance.
“In the second half we came out and tried to pick up the intensity. We were fortunate enough to score on a PK to tie it at 1-1 and we felt like we had momentum and we had a chance. Unfortunately, bad luck happens they score on our own goal and that’s the way it goes. We are a young team with eight or nine underclassmen, so the future is bright.”
The future continues for East Union this afternoon in Modesto when the Lancers face Central Catholic. Moinday at 6:45 the Timberwolves play Weston Ranch.
Sierra 1, East Union 0
Aman Dhillon scored the lone goal of the game for the Timberwolves on a penalty kick.