Monday night, May 2 was an emotional rollercoaster for the Oakdale High School varsity soccer girls. Prior to the team’s must win game against visiting East Union, 10 senior Lady Mustangs were honored in the Senior Night 2016 pregame festivities. Seniors Natali Montoya, Bailey Antonio, Logan Laugero, Madison Feuerstein, Breanna Garza, Megan Burke, Ana Patricia Jacobo, Haley Dodd, Melissa Ibarra and Kaylee DeRuyter all suited up and played for the final time for the home crowd.
“All of the (senior) girls took on a leadership role this season. I am proud of each of them for their contributions to the soccer program over the years,” said head coach Alfredo Quiroga.
Entering the week, Oakdale (12-8-5, 5-6-3) needed to win both their games to stay alive in the crowded Valley Oak League playoff picture. Oakdale’s playoff hopes took an exit on Monday night as the East Union Lancers (11-7-3, 5-6-3) tied the Lady Mustangs with a goal during time stoppage to end the game and essentially the team’s playoff hopes.
“That goal took the wind from our sails,” Quiroga said. “You could tell that the girls were devastated and so were we (the coaches).”
Oakdale trailed 1-0 at the break, but bounced back with second half goals by seniors Burke and Feuerstein to take a late 2-1 advantage. Finding the seniors were Viviana Albor and Laugero with the assists. With stoppage time added on, East Union turned up the pressure and managed to get one into the nets before time expired, the contest ending in a tie.
Oakdale finished the season at Central Catholic (12-5-2, 8-4-2) where the Raiders defeated the disheartened Lady Mustangs 3-1. Oakdale took an early 1-0 advantage on first half goal from Albor, who got an assist from Burke.
“Even though we scored first, I could tell that the girls just were not in the game mentally. They were just not focused and were still upset about Monday’s loss,” Quiroga said.
The Raiders scored three straight goals to end the first half, and ultimately Oakdale’s season.
“We had no energy and our frustration showed,” Quiroga said. “Overall the season was not a complete loss. The girls were competitive and were in a lot of the games this season. There were several games that ended up in a tie or a loss that could have been wins for us, but either the ball hit the cross bar or took a bad bounce. I think it was a good season of soccer for the girls, but this was not the outcome any of us wanted.”
Oakdale finished in fifth place in the VOL, but the season featured plenty of highlights including Feuerstein’s school record in goals with 24 in a season. Feuerstein also ranked second in league in points (58) and third in assists with 10. Oakdale’s future appears bright as sophomore Albor also finished in the top five in points (27) and was ranked fourth in goals (11).