Manteca – All nerves melted on Friday night as the whistle blew for the opening match of Manteca women’s football’s Valley Oak League. The Buffaloes were in the East.He faced his longtime rival in the Union and had nothing on his mind but to win.
“We said in the locker room that tonight’s game is the same game they played when they were kids,” said Manteca head coach Justin Connenberg. I know I was nervous because I had pre-season and soon I was up against rivals in town.
Konenberg’s prediction was correct. Manteca defeated East Union 3-1 in a hard-fought VOL matchup.
control the pace
The Buffaloes keep the ball in Lancers territory for the first four minutes of the game. Led by Alabama-transferred senior Cameron Silva and junior Alexia Alba, Manteca’s aggressive attack was about to pay off. Silva’s quick drive to the net helped Alba set a goal to get the team on the board first.
The goal helped set the tone for the half as most of it was spent putting pressure on East Union goalkeeper Madeline Miske. From Silva’s dribbling drive to the net to Manteca’s long ball attempt, the Buffaloes didn’t give up.
“We were happy with the way we built it and the way we owned the ball and moved it upfield,” said Konenberg. So, we’ve created a lot of opportunities, and if you’re creating opportunities, that’s good.”
Aruba led the team in scoring with two goals. Attracting the attention of almost every defender, Silva scored a goal for Alba and he provided two assists. Sophomore Serenity Cerritos also joined the game and ended the game with her fourth goal of the season from an indirect kick by Galilea Sanchez.
“As a team, I think we are always connected in practice. On the field, we communicate all the time,” Alba said. “So they look for me and I call them and we connect from there. “
Lancers don’t back down
East Union responded to Manteca’s fiery first half with a gritty defense. Midway through the first half, Johnson was ejected from the game due to a collision between a Lancer player and Manteca freshman Kamiya Johnson. This was just one of the many efforts the Lancers made as they fought through the game.
Offensively, junior midfielder Chloe Silva took the lead. Silva and the Lancers brought in the Jets in the second half to try to cut Manteca’s 2-0 lead. About eight minutes into the second half, Cole Silva and a handful of other Lancers stormed Manteca’s penalty area, giving them their first chance of the game. Silva scored his sixth goal of the season, making him 2-1.
East Union Head Coach Jason Silva said: “We bounced a little bit and at that point we pushed a little bit and got a little bit of momentum.”
Along with Silva’s goal, another bright spot in Lancer’s loss was Miske. Sr. finished the game with a career-high 14 saves. Her net safety helped keep Silva scoreless in the match. This is the second goalkeeper of the season.
“Maddy was incredible,” said Silva. “For her, the first half could easily have gotten out of hand. It could have been four or five goals, but she kept it. He made some saves and at least gave us a chance to bring it into the game.”
Following a sweet win over their rivals, Manteca’s record goes to 14-1-1 and 1-0 in VOL. The Buffaloes will return to Gus Schmidt Stadium on January 11 to face Kimball.
“If we can get a win in the first league game of the season, especially against opponents like the East Union, I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction,” Konenberg said.
For the Lancers, who are still trying to put their pieces together as a team, they will face Oakdale again on January 9.
Record reporter Shannon Belt covers sports. You can contact her at email@example.com or her Twitter @ShannonBelt3. Support her news locally and subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.