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Deep Mustangs Ready For West Campus In D-IV Playoffs
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As Oakdale High reserve varsity soccer players began to flood the field in the Mustangs’ 2-0 win over Sonora last week, the visiting Wildcats may have felt their chances at victory were improving.This simply wasn’t the case.Substitutions controlled the ball well and kept pressure on the Sonora goal with a dominant second half as Oakdale rallied to their ninth straight win or tie in Valley Oak League action.“There is no drop off in our play when we substitute,” Oakdale coach Alfredo Quiroga said. “All of them can play and each of them has contributed this season.”The win tied Oakdale with Manteca in the Valley Oak League standings, but Manteca’s early season victory and second-half tie awarded the Buffaloes a No. 2 seed into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs over the Lady Mustangs.Oakdale (11-1-4 VOL, 18-3-5 overall) will travel to West Campus High in Sacramento on Tuesday, May 18 to begin their own bid at a Section title. The away match-up with the Capital Valley Conference champions isn’t the easiest of first round contests, but Oakdale has been playing their best soccer of the season lately, and anything can happen in the postseason.On Thursday, Nikki Almanza and Jill Kahler scored, on assists from Mariah King and Bryanna Welch. Morgan Kinyon absorbed a tough blow to the head late in the game and saved both of Sonora’s serious shots on goal to preserve the shutout.“I think we are picking up at the right time to go into playoffs hot,” Quiroga said. “They are all playing very well.”Coach Quiroga knows his team has potential to finish the season with a blue banner, and said he was informed of his girls’ intentions to do exactly that during recent play.“The other day Hailey (Turney) said ‘let’s go win sections’,” Quiroga said. “That’s something this team is capable of doing.”Oakdale’s standout senior defender, Lexi Seese, couldn’t agree more.“We finished league really strong, and all that’s left now is sections,” Seese said. “A Section championship is definitely what we want.”West Campus is 18-1-1 this season, 13-0-1 in the CVC. Standout sophomore Jena Mamola has 25 goals and nine assists on the year, including five scores in her last three games.If Oakdale can squeeze past West Campus, they will travel to face the winner of the Colfax and Manteca game on Thursday, May 20.