Jose Paredes, Gustavo Ruiz, Jose Hernandez, Scotty McNeil, Ernesto Zamudio and Juan Verduzco were honored during Senior Night festivities at the lighted Oakdale High varsity soccer field on Oct. 26.
Afterwards, the six Mustang seniors and their 15 teammates honored themselves with a 2-1 victory over Sonora during the Valley Oak League finale, even doing a final dance at midfield.
The win locked Oakdale into the No. 4 position among eight teams in the VOL standings, an impressive feat considering low numbers and injuries have forced a roller coaster ride since the season started.
“We were set on winning that final game at home on senior night,” Oakdale coach Alfredo Quiroga said. “It was nice to win that game in spite of the inconsistencies we have had this year.”
Oakdale (5-7-2) beat playoff bound Sierra (9-2-3) 3-1 and Manteca (9-3-2) 3-0 during conference action, but dropped two costly games to Kimball (4-9), twice tied Lathrop (4-7-3) and split games with Sonora (3-8-2) and Weston Ranch (2-10).
“We were able to play well at times despite our lack of depth,” Quiroga said. “We are becoming stronger and stronger, and will be better next year than this year hopefully.”
Davis Harper and Scotty McNeil scored goals for Oakdale in the win over Sonora, McNeil converting on a penalty kick and Harper putting in the game winner late in the second half. McNeil also had six saves in the net while Erasto Ruiz and Daniel Martines landed big assists.
McNeil was injured early in the year, but played keeper for 28 contests this season with only 49 goals allowed and 107 saves. He scored four penalty kick goals as well.
The team also leaned on the talents of Harper (midfield), defender Sean Harrity, forward Oskar Nilsson and forward Javier Aguiniga (nine goals scored).