A valiant effort by the Oakdale Lady Mustangs soccer team fell a little bit short in the opening round of the postseason.
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, the No. 13 seed Oakdale team hit the road in the 2018-2019 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Division III Championship. They traveled to Modesto’s Mary Grogan Park to take on the fourth seeded Beyer Patriots. In the contest, Oakdale’s Payton Bohannon scored the game-tying goal in the fifth minute of the second half at 1-1. The game went to overtime but the Oakdale ladies gave up three goals in the extra time, resulting in a 4-1 double overtime loss.
In the contest Oakdale had some key injuries that had them shorthanded for the Section competition. Both Kiara Vigil and Ximena Vigil suffered injuries that sidelined them early in the first half. Goalkeeper Lindsay Lumm went down with a thigh injury in the first half and did not return and was replaced by fellow freshman Victoria Rojas. In relief Rojas had four saves but was red carded in the second overtime as she slid into a Beyer player as she was approaching the goal.
“All seven freshmen played and had moments and spurts of greatness,” said Oakdale head coach Grace Fernandes. “The sophomores and juniors all contributed to the game in a positive way.”
The high winds kept both teams battling the elements and each team had difficulty moving the ball. Beyer took a 1-0 lead on a corner kick late in the first half, a lead they would keep until late in the second half.
“The pace and intensity of the game was fantastic by both teams especially under the wind conditions,” agreed Fernandes.
With 27 minutes remaining in regulation Oakdale crashed the net but could not cash in, and the team’s unfortunate luck would continue when the ball sailed over the cross bar on a corner kick. When Oakdale did tie the game, it was on a goal by Bohannon with an assist from Makena Winton.
In overtime – which is not sudden death in high school but timed periods – it was Beyer who came out aggressively and scored three goals to end the game.
“Our season ended, but the future of our program is starting to get momentum,” said Fernandes. “The seniors are irreplaceable, but the future looks bright for the team.”
The coach said she also wanted to thank Joey and Jenna Micheletti, Brian Elting and Anthony Fernandes for their contributions to the girls’ growth as soccer players and for their ongoing support.
“The girls had fun competing but at the end of the match the realization of the season being over kicked in and emotions were high,” Fernandes said.