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Manteca routs Lathrop to keep pace with EU
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Manteca High set big goals for itself this season but got off to a rough start in non-league play.

And upstart Lathrop, in its first season with seniors, appeared to be a team to look out for going into the Valley Oak League schedule.

So far, it seems as if both squads are headed different directions.

The host Buffaloes struck early and often in their 7-1 drubbing of Lathrop Monday, as they kept pace with VOL-leading East Union.

“We heard that Lathrop is a much-improved them, and I’d have to agree with that. They are very well-coached,” said Manteca coach Justin Coenenberg. “We knew we had to bring our ‘A’ game.

“We played well all the way around. We did a good job of moving the ball and finishing.”

Giovanni Padilla finished off a cross from Isaac Jimenez in the 3rd minute, and Manteca (3-0-2, 6-5-3 overall) never looked back.

Robbie Geerlof (15th, 63rd, 66th minutes) ended up with a hat trick, while Jose Maravilla scored twice (21st, 29th). Jose Ramirez assisted the game’s final goal to Daniel Rodriguez.

Manteca had 24 shots to Lathrop’s nine. Phillip Herrera (save) and Brandon Diaz (two saves) split time at goal for the Buffaloes, who have a tough two-match stretch to end the first half of conference play starting with a road game at Oakdale Thursday. They will then face East Union across town next Monday, Oct. 4.

Lathrop (1-4, 4-11-1) got its only goal from Danny Becerra.

“We got a couple players back from injury today, but the whole team just looked very flat,” Lathrop coach Ryan Biedermann said. “It’s like we have two teams: one that really competes, and another that doesn’t show up at all.

“It’s still wide open, but we have to play like very game is a playoff. We have to have that mentality and keep it steady. Consistency is our killer right now.”

East Union 8, Kimball 0
At Dino Cunial Field, the host Lancers (5-1, 6-3-2) rebounded well from their first league loss.

Ricardo Perez’s hat trick led the way, with Miguel Barbosa and Dante Pasquini each adding a goal. Jordan Kron assisted Pasquini’s first score with a throw-in. Alfredo Solorzano contributed a goal.

Goalie Dominic Riella recorded three saves in the shutout, EU’s second of the season.

Dominic Riella shutout, three saves

“Kimball has no seniors, but we only have two,” EU coach Allan Green said. “They don’t have the depth that some of the other teams in league have, but that will come in time for them.”

Sierra 4, Sonora 2
The first of Jose Acosta’s two goals was a beauty: A curling shot over the Sonora wall that gave the Timberwolves (3-1-1, 10-6-2) an early lead.

Amir Guedoir and Ruben Lopez each scored, but Sierra could have put it out of reach early if golden opportunities were put away. Sonora (2-3-1), tied for fourth place with Sierra coming in, was able to cut the deficit to one twice.

“After we went up 2-0 the kids just kind of dropped off,” Sierra coach Jose Montes said. “Sonora is not bad; they have some key players up top. We let our guard down and they snuck one by us, and just like that they were in the game.”

Weston Ranch 2, Oakdale 0
At Oakdale, Weston Ranch (2-3, 5-4-2) pulled off a mild upset to stay in the VOL race while dropping the Mustangs (3-2, 7-5-1) down two spots from second place.

Francisco Portillo booted in the Cougars’ first goal in the 19th minute, and Alfredo Medrano struck in the 59th.

“I told the guys going into the game that it’s not too late; the league is still open, it just has to start now for us,” Weston Ranch coach Carlos Gaspar said. “Oakdale is a very tough team, but today my guys showed that they can play the way I know they can play.”

Manteca 1, Lathrop 1
Nacho Valdovinos salvaged the tie for Manteca by scoring with around 3 minutes left. The equalizer came after he failed to convert on a penalty kick in the 72nd minute.

Oakdale 7, Weston Ranch 3
Zazen Saleh netted two goals, while victor Trejo scored once and assisted another for Weston Ranch (1-3-1).