With six games remaining in the Valley Oak League campaign, the Oakdale Mustang varsity soccer boys (7-7-4, 4-2-2) are currently in fourth place in the standings. This past week, Oakdale played host to Central Catholic and Manteca. In their two games, Oakdale went 1-1.
The Mustangs have been dealing with injuries and illnesses this season and the absence of some of their starters. On Monday night, the team hosted Central Catholic (3-6-3, 2-4-1) where the Raiders won in the final minute of the game. Oakdale led 1-0 in the first but Central Catholic tied it at one just before the half. Oakdale’s Izzy Valero scored the goal on a Victor Par assist in the first half.
Goalkeeper Philip Knierieme had four saves in the game.
“It was a frustrating and difficult loss,” veteran head coach Alfredo Quiroga said. “We have been hit with the injury bug, as well as various illnesses on our team. However, those who were on the field played well. We just did not finish the way we should have.”
Two days later they were scheduled to play winless Manteca (0-12-0, 0-7-0). The game was scheduled for a 5:45 p.m. start; however, transportation issues for the JV squad resulted in the game time for varsity moving up to approximately 3:30 p.m. Oakdale jumped out to an early lead and did not let up on the struggling Buffaloes. Alex Zamora had a big game by scoring two goals and added an assist in the win. Dayne Sturtevant, who missed multiple games with a sprained ankle, returned to the lineup against Manteca and scored his second goal of the season. Also having goals were Eric Anaya with two, and Izzy Valero and Cameron Burke with one each. Victor Par had three assists, and Esteban Garcia and Manuel Garcia each had an assist.
“The time change did not affect us much. We heard about the transportation problem and knew we had to win either way,” said goalkeeper Knierieme, who had four saves in the win.
The Mustangs hit the road for a pair of games this week. On Monday night, Jan. 29 the team battled first place East Union (14-3-3, 6-0-2) following The Leader’s press time. On Wednesday, Jan. 31 Oakdale will travel to Tracy to take on Kimball (3-9-1, 2-5-1).
In their lone game of the week, Oakdale defeated Central Catholic 7-1 on Monday, Jan. 22. In the dominant victory, Edgar Herrera had two goals. Also finding the net were Jay Hummer, Dylan French, Alfie Harris, Alexis Aguilar and Peter Crossman. Assists were provided by Hummer (2), Aguilar (2), Harris (2) and Brandon Martinez. The team was scheduled to play Manteca at home on Wednesday, Jan. 24 but limited transportation left the JV Buffaloes at home and the game had yet to be rescheduled as of press time. Oakdale’s JV team hits the road for a pair of league games this week. On Monday the team took on East Union following The Leader press time. On Wednesday, Jan. 31 Oakdale takes on the Kimball Jaguars in Tracy.