Although visiting East Union outshot Manteca 21-5 Wednesday in the Valley Oak League finale for both teams, the Lancers managed only two goals.
That was enough, as they defeated Manteca 2-1 at Guss Schmiedt Field.
The Lancers (9-3-2 VOL, 11-3-2 overall) begin the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs on Tuesday.
“We think we are ready for the playoffs,” East Union coach Victor Polanco said. “Last year we also went to playoffs but we got eliminated in the first round and I hope this time it is different. We have to go back and get ready for the first playoff game.
“Tonight we won but we weren’t really focused and we missed a lot of goals but we were there, shooting, shooting. But of course sometimes the ball doesn’t go in. A win is a win but congratulations to Manteca – they fought hard to win this one too.”
In the ninth minute Gerardo Romero blasted in the first goal for Lancers.
“We started off with Jesus (Hurtado),” Romero said. “The he sent it to me and I just did what I had to do as a forward and I had to put it in.”
With eight minutes left in the first half Hector Romero squeezed in an assist from Alex Velasquez for a 2-0 East Union lead.
“It was a cross from Alex Velasquez,” Hector Romero said. “And then I saw the perfect opening and I shot it with my left and I hit it right on the bottom right corner.”
That was it for scoring until stoppage time of the second half when the Buffaloes (3-9-2, 6-12-2) got rid of the shutout on a goal by Sovathyda Chea off of an assist from Aron Navarrete.
“Aron (Navarette) and I work together a lot,” Chea said. “We do this at practice – we have to know where our teammates are and I guess that was just good communication there.”
This marks the first year since 2009 that Manteca did not have a winning season.
“We have been successful for a long time here,” Buffaloes coach Justin Coenenberg said. “If you are looking at wins and losses, this was not the most successful year for us.
“As much as I hate losing, this really was a great group of guys and I enjoyed showing up here every day and having the opportunity to coach them.”
East Union 6, Manteca 1
Jonathan Quintana notched a hat trick for the Lancers who won the VOL title with a 13-1 league record.
Andrew Ramus added two goals for the Lancers and Giovanni Gomez one. Quintano chipped in an assist with Jacob Garcia getting three assists and Tyler Soulier one.
John Murphy had three saves for East Union and Adrian Saucedo two.
Fernando Rocha had the lone goal for the Buffaloes.