What a difference a week makes. After dishing out back-to-back shutouts a week ago to get back into playoff contention, the varsity Oakdale Lady Mustangs soccer team’s playoff hopes took a hard hit this past week. Oakdale tied the first place Sierra Wolves 3-3 on Monday, April 25 and fell short 2-1 on the road to Manteca.
Oakdale entered the week in fourth place, the cutoff point for a playoff spot, with four games remaining on the regular season schedule. The Lady Mustangs (12-7-4, 5-5-2) took on undefeated Sierra (20-0-5, 9-0-3) and pushed them to the brink. After falling behind 2-0 early, Oakdale made a game of it as the Lady Mustangs trailed 3-1 at the break. In the second half Oakdale rallied to tie the game late. Goals from Megan Burke, Talia Millard and Madison Feuerstein helped lead the way for the Lady Mustangs.
“I am very proud of the way they played. They battled against a very good team, without ever getting discouraged or giving up. That was impressive to me,” Lady Mustangs head coach Alfredo Quiroga said.
Oakdale had seniors Melissa Ibarra, four saves and no goals allowed and Kaylee DeRuyter four saves, three goals allowed as goalkeepers.
Two days later the girls headed back to Manteca (19-2-1, 10-1-1) to take on the Buffaloes. Much like Monday’s game, Oakdale fell behind early with a chance to tie it in the second half. Down 2-0 at the break, Oakdale’s Krissy Lolonis scored on a pass from fellow freshman Brianna Montoya to make it 2-1 midway through the second half. With less than five minutes to go in the game, Feuerstein’s goal attempt hit the cross bar in what turned out to be the last opportunity for the tie.
“The girls played very hard and smart soccer. With the ball hitting the cross bar we just ran out of time,” Quiroga said.
Ibarra was called upon for goalkeeping duties where she allowed two goals and notched five saves.
With the rocky week, Oakdale turns their focus towards their final two VOL opponents. On Monday, May 2 Oakdale hosted East Union for the Senior Night celebration; the game took place following The Leader’s sports press time. Oakdale wraps up the season at Central Catholic today, Wednesday, May 4. As the team attempts to make the playoffs, Oakdale knows they must first win both of their games.
“We still have a real chance at the playoffs. The Valley Oak League is highly competitive and we are a competitive team. We just need to take care of business and not worry about what the other teams are doing,” Quiroga said
Earlier in the season, Oakdale defeated the fourth place East Union Lancers ( 11-6-2, 5-5-2) 4-2 on the road and fell to the third place Central Catholic Raiders (11-4-2, 7-3-2) 2-1 at home.
The young junior varsity girls dropped a pair of VOL road games this past week. The Lady Mustangs fell 5-1 to Sierra on Monday night, April 25. Farrera Aleydis found Jocelyn Pulido for the team’s lone goal. Oakdale’s Savannah Derby and Macy Robinson found the net in the team’s 6-2 loss to Manteca on Wednesday, April 27.