Coming off their league championship, the Oakdale varsity water polo boys entered the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs on a high note.
They were rated as the No. 2 seed in Division III and hosted a first round playoff game on Friday night, Nov. 8 at the Oakdale Aquatic Center. The No. 7 seed Dixon Rams came to Oakdale but left disappointed, as the host Mustangs came away with a lopsided victory. The final score was 16-7 in Oakdale’s favor.
“We were a little nervous for this first round, because we didn’t know this team,” admitted first year head coach Savannah Martin. “None of our contacts had played them, and all I had heard was that Dixon has a growing program. We prepared for a tough match, which was good because we were so tight the first quarter.”
Once that first quarter was over, however, the Mustangs seemed to loosen up and get into the flow of the game, finding their spots and extending the lead at the half. Multiple players contributed to the scoring, providing for a well-rounded effort for the varsity squad.
Four players had the hat trick – scoring three goals each – with Stash Perry, Lorenzo Klose, Ethan Perry and David Terwilliger all putting three in the net. Chandler Neal scored a pair of goals and one each came from Kyle McIntosh and Dyllon Jones. Oakdale had a 3-2 lead after the first quarter, 8-4 at the half. They put the game away with an eight goal outburst in the third and cruised to the victory.
The win puts Oakdale into the semifinal round with a game scheduled against No. 3 Sonora on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at Tokay High School in Lodi.
“We beat them at home once this season and previously in a scrimmage over summer,” Martin pointed out. “Playing Sonora always feels like high stakes, so we’ll need to prepare for the intensity those games inevitably bring.”
Sonora was a first round winner over No. 6 Ripon, 11-5.
On the other side of the bracket, first round action saw No. 1 El Capitan put away No. 8 Amador 18-1 and No. 4 Beyer edge past No. 5 Nevada Union, 6-3. El Capitan and Beyer square off Wednesday at Tokay as well.
Winners of the Nov. 13 games face each other in the Section final, set for Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Roseville Aquatic Center, with a start time of 10 a.m.
“We were also grateful for Mr. Fowler’s leadership class and our girls team who made a strong student cheering section, as well as for Mr. Simoncini taking the time to announce our game,” Martin said. “We felt so supported and proud to represent our school.”