After a brilliant start to the season, the Oakdale Mustang varsity boys soccer team took a step back this week. On the road for a pair of Valley Oak League games, the defending Sac-Joaquin Section champions walked away with a pair of head scratching 2-2 ties against Sierra and East Union.
Monday, Sept. 21 the boys faced off against unbeaten Sierra in Manteca. Oakdale got on the board early in the first half on a Michael Arauza goal to give Oakdale a 1-0 lead. Sierra tied the game late in the first half on a penalty kick. The second half played out much like the first where Oakdale’s David Serrano found the net on a Derrick Pennington pass. As time was winding down, Oakdale’s bad luck began when the ball bounced off Arauza and Sierra put the ball into the goal with less than three minutes to play.
“It was an odd way to end the game. We just could not put it away. We had opportunities but could not overcome mental mistakes,” said Mustangs head coach Alfredo Quiroga.
Two days later the team went to East Union to face the Lancers. It was a true case of déjà vu as the Mustangs were left with their jaws wide open and a similar result leaving a bitter taste in their mouths. Manuel Aguilar scored the team’s first half goal for the Mustangs to lead 1-0. The Lancers tied the game late in the first half. Tied at one to start the second half, Arauza put the ball between the posts to give Oakdale a 2-1 lead. Oakdale battled on defense and sophomore goalkeeper Nathan Richardson made five saves in the game. The Mustangs’ magic ran out with less than two minutes to play as East Union tied it up at 2-2.
“Disappointing, the road trip was disappointing. We are in a very competitive league this year, everyone is talented and we cannot give up games like this,” Quiroga pointed out. “We had a chance to win both games in difficult places to play. It’s not just disappointing to me, but the players are disappointed too.”
The Mustangs (9-2-4 overall and 2-0-2 in league play) hosted Kimball (2-8-1 overall and 1-2-1 in league play) on Monday, Sept. 28 after The Leader’s press time. Oakdale travels to Weston Ranch where they take on the unbeaten Cougars today, Wednesday Sept. 30.