After a short wait for opening ceremonies and a triumphant unveiling of new light towers, it seemed only fitting that Oakdale High’s first ever night soccer game illuminated a 6-1 Valley Oak League blowout on Wednesday.
The Voice of the Mustangs — OHS teacher Pete Simoncini — bellowed a proud welcome to a huge Mustang crowd, introducing the key players and donors in the installment of the light fixtures before Oakdale could take the field.
For Oakdale coach Alfredo Quiroga, it was the perfect opening to the first of many soccer games under the lights.
“I think it was just wonderful to have all the people who contributed and all the people who made this happen recognized for their work,” Quiroga said. “It was televised live on channel three and the community really got behind the event.”
Oakdale saw two scores from Robert Gilbert (one assist), and lone goals by Javier Anguiniga, Mark Ortiz (assist) Antonio Munoz and Ignacio Lopez. Jose Paredes made two passes resulting in a score while Davies Harper and Jared Firstbrook also managed assists.
Starting goalie Sam Paboojian and reserve Scotty McNeill combined for five saves in the net. Oakdale outshot their opponent, Kimball, by an 18 to 5 margin.
Oakdale (1-1 VOL, 5-4-1 overall) got off to rough league start with a 1-0 loss to Sierra on Sept. 13. The Mustangs dominated possession, but made a costly error in the heart of their own defense to surrender a score.
“We totally dominated control of that game, and I thought were the better team,” Quiroga said. “There was nothing (McNeill) could do on the only score of the game.”
The team bounced back admirably, though, giving the large home crowd plenty to cheer about besides the new lights on Wednesday.
Oakdale was at Lathrop on Monday, Sept. 20, though results were not available at press time. The team hosts East Union (2-0, 4-2-2) for another game under the lights at 6:30 p.m., tonight, Sept. 22.