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Oakdale Varsity Soccer Squads Make Post Season
Eight of the varsity soccer boys 10 seniors were all smiles in preparation for their home season finale. The sixth seeded Mustangs hosted Calaveras on Tuesday night in the opening round of the SJS Boys Division IV playoffs. The senior girls were recognized this past week before their final home game as well and go to Sonora on Feb. 21 for a first round playoff game. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

Both the Oakdale varsity boys and girls soccer teams have made the postseason.

The Mustang boys finished third in the Valley Oak League with a record of 8-4-2, 11-9-4 overall, to clinch the sixth seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff picture, while the girls finished 6-6-2 in VOL, 10-8-2 overall. The Lady Mustangs took fourth in the VOL and are the ninth seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.

For the boys, Monday night saw 10 seniors celebrated before their home game against Sierra for Senior Night 2018. Oakdale welcomed in Weston Ranch (7-13-3, 7-6-1) in a must win game for both teams to keep their playoff hopes alive.

“We have so much to play for, and we all want to do our part,” said Izzy Valero prior to the game.

The Mustangs defeated the Cougars 4-3 in the Feb. 12 contest to secure their playoff spot. Senior Alex Zamora scored two goals and added an assist in the contest. Fellow seniors Valero and Weston Wright each scored goals for the Mustangs. Senior goalkeepers Nate Richardson and Philp Knieriere each played one half in the net. Each goalkeeper had three saves in the contest.

“A lot of us played together since we were kids and have that bond. So we really do just want to win for each other and have that same mentality in the playoffs,” Richardson said.

Oakdale finished the regular season with a 3-0 shutout at Central Catholic (4-9-4, 3-7-2). In the contest Valero scored a goal and an assist. Esteban Garcia, a freshman, also had a goal and an assist. Miguel Casillas added the team’s final goal.

The Mustangs were scheduled to open the playoffs at home Tuesday night, Feb. 20 against Calaveras. The first round of the playoffs was held following The Leader’s press time. If victorious the Mustangs would likely go on the road for a second round game on Thursday, Feb. 22.

In girls action, Oakdale finished the campaign strong by winning their final four games of the regular season.

“I think we turned things around and got a confidence boost during our recent game against Sierra,” coach Grace Fernandes said, noting that the team started to “believe in themselves” during that contest.

Tuesday night, Feb. 13 the girls held their Senior Night 2018 where they honored six senior players. With a playoff spot on the line Oakdale defeated Central Catholic 4-3. While seniors were the main attraction prior to the start of the game, it was the underclassmen who helped lead the way for Oakdale. Sophomore Kassy Rodriguez scored two goals in the win, while junior Francesca Ryan and freshman Hannah Guthrie each scored one goal. Senior Talia Millard did dish out two assists in the win.

“The girls know what they are capable of and I think we have a great team dynamic. The players fight for their seniors to have a memorable senior year,” Fernandes noted.

Wednesday, Feb. 21 the girls head to Sonora to play the Wildcats in the opening round of the playoffs with a start time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. If Oakdale is successful they would move on to a second round game on Friday, Feb. 23.