A stunning 4-0 defeat to host Sonora High’s varsity boys soccer team could have spelled Oakdale’s doom on Oct. 25, but a Manteca win the same day over East Union left the Lancers floundering in fourth place and awarded Oakdale the third and final seed into the Division III Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Oakdale is the 12th and final seed of a bracket that began with Oakdale’s meeting with host Central Valley (No. 5 seed) on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time.
Oakdale ensured a postseason trip by shocking the No. 1 seeded team in the same bracket (Manteca) with a thrilling 5-2 victory over the Buffaloes on Oct. 23.
Davis Harper scored twice while David Serrano, Jose Becerra and Harry Harris all found the net. Harper, Sergio Gutierrez, Cody Trapp, Mike Adian and Daniel Martinez all landed assists in the victory while Jake Hicks and Zeke Spani combined for nine saves in the net.
It was only the second time Manteca (18-2-3) has been bested all season.
“That Manteca game was the first time all season that we have really played well for 80 minutes,” Oakdale coach Alfredo Quiroga said. “We will be a force to be reckoned with if we can play like that for a whole game.”
Central Valley had amassed an impressive 21-2-2 overall record and 10-1-1 standing in the Western Athletic Conference. They fell only to Manteca and co-WAC champions, Patterson (No. 3 seed) this year.
Oakdale was in danger of missing a postseason seed after a 4-4 start to the year, but went 3-1-2 since Oct. 9 to seal the postseason trip. It’s a solid accomplishment for a team that rosters seven underclassmen, 11 juniors and only five seniors.
“We still got third place and we are really happy with that,” Quiroga said. “We wanted to go somewhere else (other than Central Valley) in the playoffs, but it doesn’t really matter who you play.
“We have a bit of size, speed and skill and it seems like when we can stretch that across each half it is hard for other teams to beat us.”