GALT — With a strong mix of underclassmen and varsity veterans, Sierra is ready to return among the ranks of the Valley Oak League’s elite teams.
The Timberwolves completed an unbeaten run through its nonleague schedule on Wednesday, earning a 1-0 victory over Liberty Ranch. They are 11-0-2 going into next Monday’s league opener at Central Catholic, but two days after that is a major test at home against cross-town rival East Union — a two-time defending Sac-Joaquin Section champion.
“I’m happy with the way our preseason went, but starting next week the games are going to get more intense because our league is very tough,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said.
Two of their freshmen phenoms linked up for the lone goal in the second half. Following a free kick from the midfield stripe, Jadyn Shinn received a pass from Yasmin Ballew before dribbling past the Hawks’ disciplined defense for the score. Liberty Ranch (7-3) previously gave up just three goals, which came in two losses to reigning SJS Division V champion Amador.
Liberty Ranch had one shot hit off the post in the second half, but Sierra keeper Emma Broderick (two saves) was otherwise hardly challenged.
“We were able to keep them off our goal line, but they gave us a good battle,” Pires said. “There aren’t too many teams that are going to score on them this year.”
Franklin 3, Weston Ranch 1
STOCKTON — Lizbeth Ortiz scored the Cougars’ only goal to make it 1-1 at halftime.
Although the Cougars (5-2) went on to drop their final nonleague contest they go into VOL play with a winning record for the first time in program history and have also already broken the program record for single-season wins.