The Weston Ranch soccer team continued its defense of the Sac-Joaquin Section championship Wednesday but it was not a pretty defense as the Cougars and host East Union evenly split 10 yellow cards on the way to a 2-1 Valley Oak League win for Weston Ranch at Dino Cunial Field.
The eventual winning goal came when Joseph Mayorca deflected the ball off of a Lancers defender with 10 minutes left in the game.
“I was a little disappointed with our mental aspect of the game,” Cougars coach Francisco Cisneros said. “They got in our head a little bit and our guys showed frustration and we can’t have that if we are going to go far in this league.
“I have had Mayorca for three years and in big games he is always stepping up at the end. He loves the dramatics – he is a finisher and a good leader.”
Mayorca knew his shot had a little luck in it.
“It was a crazy shot,” Mayorca said. “When I was about to shoot I saw their guy jumping up so I faked it and then took it.
“It was a lucky shot, but it counted.”
Weston Ranch goalie Andy Martinez was phenomenal posting five saves in the second half – teammate Eduardo Acosta had four in the first half.
Martinez had two highlight-reel saves in the final five minutes to preserve the win.
“It was game time,” Martinez said. “The pressure was on.
“We want to stay undefeated in league again this season so I had to do anything I could to keep them from scoring.”
Esteban Paramo got the Cougars (2-0 VOL, 11-2-1 overall) on the board in the 28th minute with a penalty kick. Nine minutes later Hector Romero evened the score for the Lancers (1-1).
“It was a follow up,” Romero said. “Tomas Suarez was going for it and tipped it over their player and I was there running for it.
“Last year we lost to them home and away and this one should have been our game but sometimes things go wrong.”
There was no shortage of shooting in this game with Weston Ranch taking 10 shots and East Union 14.
“The boys were ready for this game and we wanted to win this game,” Lancers coach Victor Polanco said. “The Ranch is a great team and we were mentally prepared but once the game started it was a different story.
“I am proud of the boys. We are going to go back to practice and work on the mistakes we made.”
Oakdale 6, Lathrop 0
The Mustangs (2-0, 9-2-2) led by 1-0 at halftime and until late in the game when the Spartans (0-2, 0-8) were victimized by a penalty kick and a free kick inside the box, changing the complexion of the game and beginning a late surge for the host Mustangs.
“It was a pretty good game for most of the game,” Lathrop coach Alfredo Reynaga said. “We played well and I am impressed with our progress from the first game until now.”
East Union 3,
Weston Ranch 1
Oscar Avila had two goals for the Lancers and Jacob Garcia a goal and an assist.
Ariel Silva had the lone goal for the Cougars.
Oakdale 9, Lathrop 2