Sierra head coach Jose Montes was worried about how his Timberwolves would respond to a lackluster first-half effort that happened 20 days and six games prior to Monday’s delayed second half with host Manteca at Lincoln Park.
His worries were quickly put to rest, as Sierra extended its one-goal lead and dominated en route to a 4-0 Valley Oak League victory.
The game was originally scheduled for Sept. 15 under the lights of Manteca’s Guss Schmiedt Field. Braian Gomez scored the first of his two goals in the opening half, but the stadium’s lights and scoreboard went out with just minutes to go until halftime.
“It was (awkward),” Montes said of resuming the contest weeks after it originally started. “We just didn’t want to give them any breaks to get the momentum because we were already up 1-0.
“In the first 10 minutes wanted to put the pressure on them because I figured they were going to try and do the same to get back in the game. We played a little bit tighter (on defense) this time and moved the ball pretty well. We had a good effort from the defense, and the midfield controlled tempo of the game.”
Edwin Perez assisted the first two second-half goals to Ricky Pacheco and Gomez. Freshman Erick Noriega capped the final score with a beautiful volley from about 30 yards out.
With the second half of the match accounted for, Sierra and Manteca officially closed the first round of the Valley Oak League season.
Sierra is now 5-1-2 in league (10-6-2) to move to third place while keeping pace with conference-leading Central Valley (7-0-1). The two teams previously battled to a 2-2 tie, and they meet again tonight at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Manteca falls to 2-6, and 3-12 overall.
“Now we can look at the second half of league,” Montes said. “Right now we have five teams battling it out for three playoff spots, but those teams in the bottom half can upset somebody. We have to keep our heads together and stay focused.”
Ripon 10, Modesto Christian 0
In Salida, the Indians (5-2, 16-3) had eight different players contribute at least one goal. Bryan Macias got them started with a hat trick, scoring in the second, third and 15th minutes to set the tone.
Jared Ratto, David Paden, Jesse Ruiz, Seth Lawlor, Matty Gay, Justin Scott and even goalkeeper Tim Combley also got in on the fun.
Caleb Christian, Matt Ratto, Combley and Macias each had an assist.
Riverbank 4, Ripon Christian 1
In Ripon, Christian Albor scored all of Riverbank’s goals within the first 15 minutes, and Steve Vander Molen blasted in the lone goal for Ripon Christian (1-6, 7-10-1) off a free kick in the 5nd minute.
Goalkeeper Ben De Ruiter recorded 10 saves for the Knights, and Rafael Zamudio finished with two for Riverbank.