CERES — Jose Montes hoped for a tie, and he got it in spectacular fashion.
Montes’ Sierra Timberwolves opened the Valley Oak League season with a 2-2 tie against defending champion Central Valley Monday despite being outshot, 16-5.
David Reyes blasted home a highlight-worthy bicycle kick off Emmanuel Ortiz’s throw-in to complete the second-half comeback for Sierra (1-0, 6-5 overall), which was down two goals by halftime.
“It was a World Cup-class goal,” Montes said.
Ortiz assisted both Sierra goals. Early in the second half, the Timberwolves closed in on CV’s lead with a direct kick from Ortiz that Irving Hernandez finished off with a single touch.
Hernandez, though, did his best work on the back line, said Montes. The coach also lauded the defensive efforts of sophomore Alejandro Gonzalez and Luis Garcia, who made a few key stops at goal.
“In the first half we had a few problems defensively, just some bad mistakes,” Montes said. “With three sophomores and a freshman starting, I think we were kind of nervous.
“But in the second half we settled down and did our thing. Irving and Alejandro stepped up big defensively.”
Sierra hopes to bring the momentum to Guss Schmiedt Field tonight when it takes on host rival Manteca starting at 6:30 p.m.
In Lathrop, the visiting Cougars (1-0, 3-4-1) had trouble finding net at the start and broke through with four goals in the second half after leading just 1-1 against the first-year varsity team.
Margarito Juarez booted in Weston Ranch’s first two goals, and Eduardo Pacheco chipped in a goal and an assist. His goal was the last of the contest, coming from near the midfield mark on a free kick.
Benjamin Gonzales and David Molina each turned in a goal. Christian Asencio and Marco Negrete each contributed an assist.
“Lathrop has a young team but they played well,” Weston Ranch coach Carlos Gaspar said. “When their freshmen and sophomores become juniors and seniors they’re going to have a nice team.”
Ripon 4, Hughson 2
In Hughson, Ripon (1-0, 12-1), coming off its title run in the Ripon Christian Invitational, got a wake-up call when the Huskies struck in the third minute.
Freshman Arik Anaya scored in the 52nd and 62nd minutes for the Indians. Matty Gay added a goal and an assist, Bryant Macias had two assists and Christian Plata recorded the tying goal in the 15th minute.
Hughson converted a penalty kick with 11 minutes remaining to cap the final score.
“Besides the first five minutes of the game I thought we played pretty well defensively,” Ripon coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “Hughson has a scrappy little team. I think they can sneak in a couple wins against some of the top teams in league.”
In Escalon, Alex Valencia scored twice to lead the Cougars. Ben De Ruiter racked up nine saves for Ripon Christian (0-1, 6-5-1).
Manteca 2, Ceres 0
In Ceres, the undefeated Buffaloes (1-0, 5-0) battled through a sluggish start and scored both goals in the second half. Ricardo and Giovanni Marin accounted for each score.
In Ceres, Steven Dominguez and German Tenorio accounted for Sierra’s goals.