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Lady Mustangs advance to Section soccer title game
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Oakdale players rush toward the goal to congratulate teammate and goalkeeper Avery Alves after the host Lady Mustangs outlasted Manteca in a shootout, 5-4, on Friday, Feb. 16. The win in the semifinals put Oakdale into the Section title game, set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 at Cosumnes River College. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

The number two seed Oakdale Lady Mustangs have advanced to the 2024 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 girls soccer championship game following a pair of victories this past week. Oakdale will face the fourth seed Rio Americano on Thursday, Feb. 22 in Sacramento for the championship. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m.

To reach the finals, Oakdale blanked seventh seed Ponderosa 1-0 on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, Feb. 14. Kyndra Obermeyer scored a second half goal off an assist from Dakota Burford as the varsity squad got the win at home. Avery Alves had five saves in the shutout victory.

Two days later on Feb. 16, Oakdale hosted the number three seed – and Valley Oak League rival – Manteca. This would be the third time Oakdale faced the Lady Buffaloes this season. Oakdale defeated Manteca in both of the regular season contests (1-0, 3-1) and those victories were crucial in securing the VOL title for Oakdale.

This time the two teams met in the Section semi-finals. Much like the regular season Oakdale pulled off a victory, though it took a little longer, as it came in a shootout.

The Lady Mustangs scored on an Obermeyer first half goal off an assist by Burford. Manteca tied the game in the second half. After a scoreless overtime, Oakdale advanced to the finals as they outscored Manteca 5-4 in a shootout. Alves had six saves in the game for Oakdale, including the shootout stop that put the Lady Mustangs in the blue banner game. Both playoff wins were held at Oakdale High School inside The Corral.

Awaiting the Mustangs on Feb. 22 are the Rio Americano Raiders. In the D3 tournament, Rio Americano defeated number 13 seed Rosemont 4-0, five seed Vista del Lago 2-1 and then took out the top seeded West Park on Friday night, 1-0.

Rio Americano, out of Sacramento, went 8-0-2 to finish first in their league and come in at 12-3-2 overall. Oakdale earned the VOL title with a 6-2-2 record and are 18-6-3 overall.

This is a return to the championship game for Oakdale and they are hoping for a different outcome than last year’s 1-0 loss to Christian Brothers. The finals will be played at Cosumnes River College.

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Lady Mustang Kyleigh Melconian gest a head on the ball as her Manteca opponent goes for the high leg kick in action at The Corral on Friday, Feb. 16. Oakdale won in a shootout after the teams tied 1-1; Oakdale moves on to play for the Division 3 Section title on Feb. 22 against Rio Americano. Jeff Kettering/The Leader