Traveling to Roseville and facing off against the number one seeded team in the playoffs didn’t bother the Oakdale Mustangs.
In fact, the varsity water polo boys capped an undefeated postseason run in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Playoffs by defeating El Capitan, 14-12, to claim the Section title, bringing home the DIII blue banner. The title game was Saturday morning, Nov. 16 at the Roseville Aquatic Complex.
“We scored the first two goals in the first minute of the game and that set the tone for the rest of it,” said first year head coach Savannah Martin. “El Capitan tied it up right after the half but then our boys scored another four goals on them before they could get another.”
Oakdale took a 4-2 lead in the first period on two goals from David Terwilliger and single tallies from Chandler Neal and Ethan Perry. The lead was smaller, 8-7, at the half, with Terwilliger, Kyle McIntosh, Stash Perry and Lorenzo Klose scoring goals in the second frame.
In the third, it was a five-goal outburst that carried the Mustangs to a 13-10 lead and they were able to hold off El Capitan for the win. Finding the net in the third were Terwilliger, Jude Krick and Ethan Perry scoring the hat trick in that period. Scoring in the fourth for Oakdale was Dyllon Jones.
“Ethan Perry and David Terwilliger each had an outstanding game with four goals apiece. Ethan also led the team in steals with seven and Chandler Neal had four,” said Martin. “Chandler, Stash Perry, Lorenzo Klose, Kyle McIntosh, Jude Krick and Dyllon Jones each added one goal.”
Oakdale qualified for the Section final by defeating number seven Dixon in the first round and rival Sonora, the number three seed, in the semifinals. Oakdale was the number two seed in the playoff bracket, behind only top seed El Capitan.
On their side of the bracket, El Capitan had defeated number eight Amador and number four Beyer to reach the finals.
“The boys, coaches and families are overjoyed at this accomplishment. We’re proud to make history at our school as the first boys team to win a Section title,” Martin said of the water polo program. “We continue to be grateful to our supportive community, many of whom travelled almost two hours to watch our section final game.”
Oakdale had previously qualified for the Nor Cal Tournament and Martin and assistant coaches Brad McIntosh and Ron Thompson said the team is both excited and prepared.
“We’re looking forward to our last week of the season to see how far we can go in this new Nor Cal tournament. Games last year were cancelled due to wildfires, so this will be the first time we get to compete,” Martin said.
The boys learned on Sunday that they are the second seed in the Nor Cal Tournament and they were scheduled to host a game against Tulare Western at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 after The Leader’s press time. If Oakdale gets the win, they will host another game on Thursday, Nov. 21.