It is not how it goes in, but that it goes in that counts.
Trailing by a goal to visiting Chavez of Stockton on Thursday, Manteca’s Edgar Oropeza took a pass from Everardo Velasquez, dribbled along the end line and fired a cross that deflected off of a Titans defender and into the net.
That tied the game at 1-1 in the 15th minute and that ended up the final score in non-league action at Guss Schmiedt Field.
“He (Velasquez) passed it to me down the line,” Oropeza said. “I didn’t see anyone open so I thought I would take it by myself and I crossed it and it bounced off of one of their defenders and ended up being a goal.”
It is not like the Buffaloes (4-5-1) did not have their chances with seven shots on goal and nine total shots in the first half.
“We were creating opportunities but we were a little unlucky,” Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg said. “We even had some go off of the post.
“We had guys there, working hard, making runs into the box and getting there, but we just couldn’t get it into the back of the net.”
Coenenberg went to the bench in the second half and the Buffaloes added just three more shots with two of those being on frame.
“This was our last pre-season game before we get into league,” Coenenberg said. “I wanted to get some guys some time and look at them, moving them around into different positions.”
Manteca kept Chavez goalie Gabriel Banales busy, especially in the first half. A recent call-up from the frosh-soph squad due to injuries on the varsity level, Banales had six saves in the first 40 minutes and eight in total, with many of those in the first half worthy of highlight-reel designation.
“For the first time playing at the varsity level, I was really impressed with his performance,” Titans coach Jose Perez said of Banales. “I think he is putting pressure on the other keepers now.
“He did a nice job and he is only a sophomore.”
The Titans (6-5-1) took the lead two minutes into the game. The Manteca defense was tough most of the night, allowing just five shots on goal with Buffaloes goalie Matsua Garcia-Mendez making four saves.
Chavez took nine other shots with seven coming in the second half.
Manteca 6, Chavez 0
In addition to scoring early and often Thursday, the Buffaloes scored as they have all year – with balance.
Madison Burch and Rosa Becerra had two goals apiece for the Buffaloes (6-3-1) with Kaitlynn Funsch and Jocelyn Reyes adding a goal apiece. Alexa Mayen assisted on two goals with Jocelyn Prada and Kaley Miller adding one apiece.
“We came out and we scored early,” Coenenberg said. “We went up 5-0 in the first half. We scored the first three in the opening seven or eight minutes.
“One good thing is the goals so far in this pre-season are not just coming from one or two girls. We are getting a lot of girls involved in the attack and a lot of girls involved in scoring opportunities and scoring a lot of goals.”
The Titans fall to 0-9-2.