LATHROP — Lathrop was 40 minutes away from an upset for the ages, even if it wound up in a tie.
The Spartans took an early one-goal lead and found themselves in a 1-1 deadlock with unbeaten Sierra at halftime Tuesday.
“We had them on the ropes,” Lathrop coach Jose Montes said. “I told them to be ready for the first 10 minutes (of the second half). If we could hold on for 10 minutes we can change the momentum. Sierra has the firepower. When they smell blood they go after it.”
That the Timberwolves did.
Daisy Valencia scored three goals in three minutes, Tiana Cello added two goals and four assists all in the second half and Sierra finished with the expected result — a 10-1 victory.
“The result doesn’t show how tight this game was,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said. “In the second half we started so strong, but this team plays us good and tough. This is an example of how tough the opponents are the second time around.”
Valencia gave the Valley Oak League-leading Timberwolves (8-0-0, 17-0-1 overall) the needed boost, scoring in the 44th, 46th and 47th minutes. Jadyn Shinn followed in the 53rd and 55th minutes, with Cello tacking on her goals in the 56th and 60th.
Yasmin Ballew also scored twice to go with one assist. Joselyn Herrera capped scoring in the 69th minute off a feed from Julissa Pimentel.
“Daisy was two different players in this game,” Pires said. “She settled down in the second half and made good decisions. That was the difference — her on the left side and Tiana on the right side.”
Sierra totaled 35 shot attempts, the majority coming in the second half after making an adjustment in the formation. Sierra Rose pushed the Spartans ahead (0-7-1, 3-8-2) with a breakaway goal in the 27th minute. Kassandra Ceja had a chance to double their goal total for the night, but Sierra keeper Callie Crain blocked her penalty kick in the second half.
“We had a good half,” Montes said. “Hopefully we can put two halves together in the next one.”
Lathrop plays host to rival Weston Ranch on Thursday, while Sierra welcomes Kimball.
Manteca 4, Oakdale 0
The Buffaloes (5-1-2, 10-4-2) have taken sole possession of second place in the VOL with the win.
Kaley Miller, Kaitlynn Funsch, Madison Burch and Ashleen Kahar each scored a goal, and Alexa Mayen contributed a pair of assists. Alejandra Delgadillo also had an assist. Aimee Meier picked up six saves.
East Union 1,
Central Catholic 1
MODESTO — East Union (5-1-2, 10-4-2) snuck out with a tie after giving up the first goal for a third straight match.
Skyler Hoy buried the first goal for Central Catholic (3-3-2, 11-7-3) in the 16th minute, and East Union’s Taylor Campbell answered three minutes later. Jasmine Mejia threatened to net the game-winner in the final minute, but her shot in the box deflected off several players. Malia Allen notched six saves at goal.
Weston Ranch 0
TRACY — Aliyah Guerrero racked up 12 saves for the Cougars (0-7-1, 3-14-2) but was put in a tough spot in the final minute when Kimball scored the lone goal on a Hail Mary attempt from long range.
Ripon 4, Mountain House 1
RIPON — Cindy Alvarez cashed in on two through balls to help Ripon (3-1-0, 8-4-1) roll to victory in the Trans-Valley League matchup on Monday.
Devaney Dougherty and Ariana Scholten added a goal apiece. Amelia Ruiz had an assist. Mountain House (1-4, 4-11) closed in 2-1 in the first half when Maria Sweeden deflected it in off Steara Latifi’s corner kick.