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Lady Mustangs Score Early, Often In Non-League Victory
Water Polo
Junior utility player Whitney Lee tries to set up the offense as she is double teamed by Woodcreek. The Lady Mustangs defeated Woodcreek 11-6 at the OHS Aquatic Center. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

A four-goal effort in the first period helped lift the Oakdale Lady Mustangs to an 11-6 home win over Woodcreek. The varsity girls hit the home pool on Thursday, Sept. 29 to host Woodcreek in a non-conference match. The win was Oakdale’s fourth straight win and saw them improve to 14-3 on the season.

Oakdale set the tone early as seniors Clare McKeon and Emily Bennett each scored two goals in the first period and didn’t slow down the entire match, as the two scored four goals each in the win. McKeon got Oakdale on the board with her first goal late in the opening frame. She followed up with her second goal less than one minute later to give Oakdale a 2-0 advantage. Bennett scored four straight goals for Oakdale to build up a 6-0 lead for the home team. Her first goal came late in the first period with a dart to the top right corner of the net with 39 seconds remaining. She scored the final goal of the period 25 seconds later on a similar shot, giving Oakdale a 4-0 lead to end the first period.

Bennett continued the assault on the visitors scoring two more goals to start the second period. Woodcreek answered with a goal just before the half expired to make it 6-1 at the half.

Sophomore goalkeeper Camryn O’Neal had eight first half saves for Oakdale.

“She is definitely a kid who, when you put her in the game, she is ready to play. She has worked very hard to make sure to do her best to help the team win,” said Lady Mustangs head coach Diane Kline. “From blocking shots to setting up plays with her passing; she always does her part to help our team contend for a win.”

In the second half, Woodcreek scored two quick goals forcing Oakdale to call a time out to make a switch in the lineup. Oakdale’s Kate Mendes broke the Woodcreek scoring streak as the senior scored on a goal late in the third period. Two minutes later McKeon found the net for the third time to give Oakdale an 8-3 lead. Woodcreek cut the lead in half on a late third period goal to make it 8-4.

Woodcreek closed the gap to 8-6 with 5:05 remaining in the game, until Oakdale pulled away answering with three quick goals of their own. Sophomore Bethany Metcalfe scored, followed by Mendes and McKeon put away Woodcreek with her final goal of the evening with 3:35 left to cement the 11-6 win.

“Woodcreek makes you work for every single goal and they are tough on defense. It forced our girls to overcome some mismatches that we had with different combinations during the game,” Kline said.

Oakdale hosted Ripon on Tuesday, Oct. 4 following The Leader’s press time and is scheduled to host Calaveras on Tuesday, Oct. 11 with a 4 p.m. scheduled start time.

The boys water polo team, meanwhile, was scheduled to host Ripon on Tuesday, Oct. 4 after The Leader went to press. Oakdale returns to the pool on Tuesday, Oct. 11 when they host Calaveras. Start time is scheduled for 5 p.m.