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League Split Sees Varsity Mustangs Slip In Standings
Senior forward Zach Barnum attempts to get past the Timberwolves defender during the Mustangs home game. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER


When the week started, the varsity Oakdale Mustangs boys soccer club was in first place of the Valley Oak League. By the end of the week, Oakdale sat in second place, just one game behind first place Weston Ranch. Oakdale (14-4-4, 7-1-2) defeated the winless Lathrop Spartans 5-0 on the road Monday, Oct. 12. The Mustangs firepower ran out, however, when they fell to Sierra, 2-1, two nights later.

The Mustangs continued to look impressive on the road this season, as the team is 4-0-2 away from the confines of OHS. In their shutout victory at Lathrop, Oakdale racked up five goals and five assists. Senior forward Zach Barnum had one goal and two assists for the Mustangs, while junior Wes Allen added a goal and an assist of his own. Also finding the net for Oakdale were Jack Burchell, David Serrano and Abe Jauregui. Winslow Barrales and Tony Verduzco provided the remaining assists. Anchoring the posts for Oakdale was Jose Solis and Nathan Richardson. The duo combined for six saves in the team’s winning effort. The Mustangs outscored the Spartans 11-0 in the two-game season series sweep of Lathrop this year in VOL action.

Wednesday night, Oct. 14 was a different scenario for the Mustangs. Oakdale welcomed the Sierra Timberwolves to town, in what was a physical and intense game. The Mustangs accumulated seven total fouls in the loss. Sierra struck first on a first half Eddie Aguilar goal 31:48 into the game. Oakdale’s Austin Neave tied the match on a header from approximately five yards out from the right side of the goal. Michael Arauza added an assist on the play. Tied at one at the break, the Timberwolves’ Aguilar broke the tie, with his second goal of the night just 3:45 into the second frame.

“After the second goal, Sierra slowed down the rhythm of the game’s pace. It threw us off and it made a big difference, in our game plan,” said Mustangs coach Alfredo Quiroga.

Oakdale fired away, though, recording 11 shot attempts in the loss.

“We had several opportunities to score and get back into the game, but bottom line was we just could not finish. Sierra capitalized on our mistakes and it cost us,” Quiroga said.

The Mustangs have four games remaining on their regular season schedule. Oakdale traveled to East Union on Monday, Oct. 19 after The Leader went to press. The varsity squad has a combined record of 3-0-1 against their remaining opponents. Their next home game is against Weston Ranch on Monday, Oct. 26.