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Sierra freshmen shine in win over defending champs
Sierras Yasmin Ballew battles for the ball as East Union defender Chloe Benham heads it away during Wednesdays Valley Oak League match at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

It was a freshman affair.

Jadyn Shinn, Yasmin Ballew and Calllie Crain – all Sierra freshmen – all came up big for the Timberwolves on Wednesday night as Sierra handed two time Sac-Joaquin Section defending champion East Union its first Valley Oak League loss since 2013 by a score of 1-0 at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

Midway through the first half Shinn spotted an open Ballew who crossed the ball into the opposite corner of the net for what proved to be the game’s only score. 

“It was a beautiful pass,” Ballew said. “She (Shinn) got me an awesome pass and I put it to the corner. I wasn’t sure that it was going to go in.

“I gave her a big hug afterwards because we have really been wanting to beat these guys.”

Ballew’s goal was the only shot of the first half of the night for the Timberwolves (1-0-1 VOL, 12-0-3 overall) and they had only five shots all night.

That was not the case for the Lancers (1-1, 7-2), who launched 16 shots with Crain making 10 saves. 

“Sometimes that is the way these kinds of games go,” East Union coach Victor Polanco said. “We dominated pretty much the whole game but they had a good goalie. A lot of shots went to the goalie and we missed a lot of shots.

“But we dominated the game from beginning to end. They got lucky with that shot and that’s the way it is. Congratulations to Sierra.”

This was Crain’s first high school game in the net.

“Going into a game like this I have to keep my head up high,” Crain said. “This is a game we wanted to win going into pre-season.  It has been the big game – we wanted to beat them because they are our big rivalry.”

Crain is just part of the arsenal Sierra coach Manuel Pires has at his disposal.

“She is definitely an outstanding player,” Pires said of Crain. “I can use her in the field as well – we have three outstanding goalies and – but today I had to use her in the goal. She really stepped up and it was a great performance from her as well as the whole team, from the back line all the way up.

“This was a rivalry game and you have to battle a game like this from minute one all the way to the end. I am really proud how she stood out in the back line and showed no fear, taking charge of the goal line.”

The Timberwolves not beat the Lancers since 2011.

“Obviously every team wants to get three points,” Pires said. “This is our home and it has been a while since we have beaten them. It feels great to win and even feels more special when you win your rivalry game.

“I am very happy for these kids to experience that. I have been on both sides for quite a few years now, and to see them experience what they did today was a great step. But there is still a lot of games to go and it is going to be a battle all the way to the end.”  

Manteca 6, Kimball 0

For the second game in a row Leah Manuleleua posted a hat trick for the Buffaloes at Guss Schmiedt Field. 

And when she was not scoring she was assisting. Manuleleua assisted Lejla Pepic and Natalia Duran. Kaitlynn Funsch had an unassisted goal. Carly Morish and Duran each had an assist.

Ashlee Miller and Caitlin McVeigh each had an assist for Manteca (2-0, 11-1). 

Southern League

Ripon Christian 5, Denair 0

Abby Buitrago and Rachel Faure each had two goals for the Knights (3-0-0 SL, 6-5-0 overall). 

Lauren Williams added the fifth Ripon Christian goal when she shot in a rebound from one of Buitrago’s shots. Buitrago and Sam Carvahlo each had an assist with Lauren DeVries and Bailey Silveira each getting a save for the Knights.

Selena Ortiz had five saves for the Coyotes (1-2-1, 2-4-1).

“I challenged the team to be crisp in their decision-making and passing and they succeeded,” Ripon Christian coach Kevin Tameling said. “The team also came together to vary their form of attack and be creative with their runs.”


East Union 2, Sierra 2

Jenni Rivera had two goals for the Timberwolves.

Jasmin Mejia and Taysha McGuire each had a goal for the Lancers.