Sierra High’s boys soccer team forfeited a golden opportunity to capture the Valley Oak League championship in its entirety Tuesday.
On Thursday, the Timberwolves wouldn’t let their piece of title go, blasting Weston Ranch, 5-1.
Sierra jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead and dominated over the final 40 minutes, getting goals from Ruben Lopez, Eric Noriega and Bryan Ramos to close out the regular season tied with Manteca High for league supremacy.
Manteca have the head-to-head advantage over Sierra with a win and a tie. Manteca held of a determined East Union club for a 3-2 win, compounding Sierra’s pain from a 2-1 loss to Lathrop High Tuesday.
Nicholas Gonzalez got Sierra on the scoreboard with a first half goal. Lopez also made good on a shot in the first half.
The Timberwolves will likely find out their Sac-Joaquin Section playoff opponent Monday, setting Sierra up for the portion of the season they have prepared all season for.
“Everything that we do is to prepare for that first playoff game,” Sierra co-head coach Brett Parham said. “Even tonight our focus was moving forward in the playoffs; getting there is only the first step. We don’t want to just get to the playoffs, our goal is to go deep in it.
“We’ve never had a section championship on the boys side and no Manteca school has ever won it; we’d like to be the first school to do that.”
Lathrop 2, Kimball 0
The Spartans (5-2-7, 11-4-7) came up short of qualifying for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time in school history, but their presence was certainly felt in the VOL.
Lathrop finished in fourth place ahead of defending champion East Union and ended its best season on an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Robert Macias celebrated senior night by scoring both of Lathrop’s goals in the second half. Goalkeepers Omar Guzman, also a senior, Masseeh Khairzadah and Eric Deleon combined for the shutout.
“The guys were really happy to end the season on a high note,” said Lathrop coach Lenny Lial. “We wanted to make sure that we got the win tonight. Making the playoffs would have been great, but we feel like we’re moving in the right direction.”
— Jonamar Jacinto
Ripon Christian 2, Mariposa 1
The Knights (8-3-3, 12-4-4) are heading into their first postseason appearance in eight years riding a streak of six matches without a loss.
In Mariposa Thursday, Kyle Van Vuren kept the momentum going by scoring both of the team’s goals — the first in the final seconds of the first half, and the game-winner in the 72nd minute.
“When we lost our first league match in September (3-0 at Waterford), it felt like it was going to be a long season,” RC coach Keith Terpsma said. “Well, now it’s a long season for a different reason — we’ve got a postseason in front of us, and we’re pumped to get it started.
— Jonamar Jacinto