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Weston Ranch knocks EU out of first place
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East Union High’s soccer team was on solid ground as the Valley Oak League’s first-place team going into the week.

Two games later, the injury-ravaged Lancers find themselves in third place and searching for answers. Their latest bout with bad fortune came with Wednesday’s 1-0 loss at Weston Ranch, a team they previously pasted, 6-0.

Alfredo Medrano struck for the game’s lone goal late in the first half. The scoring play was the result of a long ball sent toward the penalty box by a Weston Ranch defender, but the Lancer keeper misjudged the bounce of the ball as Medrano snuck past for an uncontested touch.

East Union (7-3, 9-5-2 overall) had chances of its own to put the match away early, nothing came out of its seven shots on frame.

“We wasted our opportunities to win,” EU co-head coach Allan Green said. “Every time we had a shot, we just missed it or gave it right to the keeper. He didn’t even have to move.

“Our offense was not clicking.”

That may be because the Lancers were missing nearly half of their starting players. Key midfielders Jordan Kron (ankle) and Dante Pasquini (hip flexor) will miss the remainder of the season. Forwards Miguel Barbosa and Eduardo Hernandez are other chief casualties.

“We’re walking wounded,” Green said.

Weston Ranch (4-5-1, 7-6-3) is also dealing with injuries, with four starters out for Wednesday’s match. That, however, didn’t stop the Cougars from pulling off their second victory over a top-three team. On Sept. 27, they stunned second-place Oakdale 2-0 on the road.

“I told my guys it’s never too late to play good soccer,” Weston Ranch coach Carlos Gaspar said, “no matter who is or isn’t on the field.”

East Union does still have a shot at the championship but has big games left with Oakdale (next Monday) and Manteca (Oct. 27) with four to go.

Oakdale 7, Lathrop 2
Undermanned, the visiting Spartans (1-9, 4-16-1) showed good fight in the early going trailing just 2-1 by halftime.

Christian Rivera booted in Lathrop’s first goal, and Ricardo Morales netted one of his own in the second half.

Ripon 3, Hilmar 0
Coryn Hernandez pounded out 12 kills, and Cheyann DePrue fired 11 to go with nine digs to pace the Indians’ 25-10, 25-17, 25-13 thrashing of host Hilmar.

Ripon — now 7-0 in the Trans Valley League, and 21-4 overall — also had contributions from Kelsey Johnston (41 assists), Nicole Kaiser (13 digs) and Paulina Ceja (15 digs).