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Lady Mustangs Water Polo Take Down Rio Americano
Senior Emily Bennett provided a game high four goals against Rio Americano in recent play at Oakdale. Shown is Bennett on the defensive side with a hand in the face of a Raider. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

In the varsity water polo girls home debut this season, the Lady Mustangs defeated rival Rio Americano 11-4. The contest took place at Oakdale High School’s Aquatic Center on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Oakdale’s Kinsey Ollis started the game off with quick goal 36 seconds into the match. The Lady Mustangs scored five goals in the first period as senior Emily Bennett scored two first period goals and Whitney Lee and Daytona McGinnis added the others. Oakdale led 5-0 after one, and added three more in the second frame. Goals by Clare McKeon, Emma Bevan were followed by Bennett, who tossed in the final goal of the period with 1:16 left to take an 8-1 lead after two. Bennett scored a game high four goals in the win.

Junior Kassidy Houck scored the first goal of the second half 50 seconds into the third period. After a Rio goal Oakdale answered with two more of their own as Bennett found the net for the fourth and final time and Houck scored the last goal of the evening for Oakdale with 2:22 remaining in the third period.

Stepping in as goalkeeper for Oakdale was sophomore Camryn O’Neal. She held the visiting Raiders to four goals on 11 attempts. O’Neal, a first year varsity starter, is the prodigy of former goal keeper Caitlyn Golding.

“I am grateful to have her and her advice; she has helped me grow as a player. She is the most influential person in my career,” O’Neal said of working with Golding as her coach.

The Lady Mustangs improved to 4-2 on the season after defeating Turlock 18-4 over the weekend. Oakdale jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first period and never looked back in the win over the Bulldogs. Oakdale took on Lodi Tuesday night Sept. 20 at Oakdale following The Leader’s press time. Oakdale returns to the local pool on Tuesday, Oct. 4 when the Lady Mustangs host Ripon.