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Mustang Soccer Boys Fall In Second Round
Soccer team
Oakdale soccer players were in complete celebration mode following their 5-0 home win over Calaveras in the first round of the playoffs. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

After an opening round win, the Mustangs departed soccer’s postseason in the second round.

The 2017-2018 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV boys soccer playoffs began on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Entering the tournament as the sixth seed the Oakdale Mustangs hosted number 11 seed Calaveras. Oakdale won their opening round match 5-0 in front of their home fans, however were eliminated from playoff contention against third seeded Natomas on Thursday night, Feb. 22 by a final of 3-1.

In their home win, Oakdale jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage and did not look back. Senior Izzy Valero led the team with two goals and an assist in the win.

“The community support that we got helped motivate us,” Valero said of the nearly 100 fans that came out to the playoff game.

Juan Mata and Valero got the team on the board and a goal by Eric Anaya added a late goal in the first half as the home team went up 3-0 at the break.

In the second half Cameron Burke scored with less than 20 minutes to play and Valero scored the final goal of the game to put it on ice.

In the net for Oakdale were a pair of seniors, Philip Knieriere and Nate Richardson. Each had three saves in the win.

Unfortunately for the Mustangs their quest for the blue banner came to a close 48 hours later in Sacramento. Valero scored the Mustangs’ lone goal of the match in the first half unassisted. Oakdale and Natomas went into the break tied at one each but it was the Nighthawks soaring in the second half as they scored two unanswered goals to advance. Oakdale’s goalkeepers were Knieriere and Richardson; Knieriere had four saves in the first half, as did Richardson in the second half for Oakdale.