Oakdale High School’s varsity soccer team is off to a fast start in this year’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III soccer tournament, shutting out visiting Johnson 4-0 and following that up with a 5-1 home win over Rio Americano.
The Mustangs, who are the three seed, leaped out to a 3-0 advantage over 14-seeded Johnson on Tuesday, Nov. 4 and never turned back on the way to the second round. Four different players found the net for the Mustangs in the victory as Jose Becerra, Michael Arauza, Juan Rangel and Wesley Allen each had a goal. Allen, Rangel and Arauza also contributed with an assist each, along with teammate Gabriel Ramirez.
“Everyone got to play, and everyone played well. There is still a lot of soccer to be played but we are heading in the right direction,” shared head coach Alfredo Quiroga following the victory.
Thursday, Nov. 6 the Mustangs welcomed the sixth seeded Rio Americano squad to play under the lights for round two action. Arauza picked up where he left off and scored the Mustangs’ first goal after 20:48 had elapsed in the first half. Arauza finished with two goals and an assist in the contest. Oakdale’s offense continued to erupt as Gabriel Ramirez scored the team’s second goal just before the half came to a close. Rio Americano closed the gap to make it 2-1 early in the second half. But two more Oakdale scores (David Serrano, Arauza) widened the lead and the final score came when Allen fired a shot from 20 meters away that bounced off the chest of nearby Zach Barnum and into the net for the team’s final goal.
“Rio Americano is a very good team, and the boys played very well and aggressive to earn a hard fought win,” praised Quiroga. “I am very proud of what they have accomplished this season, both in regular season and in the playoffs so far.”
Oakdale next travels to Patterson to clash with the second seeded Tigers on Wednesday, Nov. 12 in the semifinals. This matchup will feature the tough Tiger defense, which hasn’t allowed a goal this postseason and the Mustangs’ high powered offense, which has scored a tournament high nine goals thus far.
“We are familiar with Patterson, as some of the boys play in a competitive travel league and have met with some of them in Patterson a few times,” Quiroga noted. “We feel confident that we can hang with them and advance in the tournament.”
Game time will be 6:30 p.m. at Patterson High School on Wednesday.
The other semifinal features top ranked Christian Brothers against number four seed Central Valley, so the top four seeds remain. Winners in the Wednesday night games will meet for the Section crown on Saturday, Nov. 15 – time and place to be announced.