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Water Polo Teams Heat Up The Pool With Top Competition
9-29 G-POLO1
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Oakdale High’s talented female goal scorer, Cassie Lee, was at a loss for words following her water polo team’s historic 11-5 win over visiting Johansen inside the Oakdale Aquatic Center on Thursday.

Lee, who was facing Johansen’s varsity girls for the first time in her career, had little perspective on the significance of Oakdale beating the Vikings for the first time in school history.

Her teammate, Savanna Stender, chimed in some assistance during the post-match interview.

“We are really excited right now,” Stender offered. “It was a really big win for us.”

The victory over last year’s Modesto Metro Conference champions turned a sharp corner for a program already on the brink of a tremendous water polo season in a sparkling new complex.

Oakdale’s boys ousted a much-respected Johansen boys team in dominant 17-6 fashion, and join the fellow undefeated varsity girls atop the Valley Foothill League standings.

“All four teams (including frosh/soph) are exceeding our expectations and playing very well right now,” Oakdale coach Alan Stender said. “Both varsity boys and girls should make it to quarter or semi-finals in Sections.

“Both varsity teams could go undefeated in league as well.”

Lee scored five times against the Vikings while Jessica Myers chipped in three. Jennie Siemsen scored twice and Lauren Judd added a goal. The boys won after four scores from Jeremy Neathery, two each from Adam Lahey, Brandon Terwilliger and Neal Cadra, and one apiece by Hank Walter, Cory Onken and Casey Whitley.

Oakdale entered the non-league Johansen contest on the momentum of wins over Ceres on Sept. 22. The boys took an 11-8 game after three goals from Cadra and Terwilliger and another two by Lahey. Cody Becker, Neathery and Whitley scored once as well.

Myers put up six goals in the girls’ 12-5 win over Ceres while Lee chipped in four and Kelly Crum and Siemsen found the net once.

The Oakdale girls are fresh off a 15th place finish among 48 teams at the Woodcreek Tournament in Roseville. The team topped Foothill in the 15th place game 12-11 in overtime. Siemsen scored the game winner and saw seven Stender goals. Lee scored three times and watched Myers chip in a tally as well. Goalkeeper Morgan Kinyon had 11 big saves in the win.

Oakdale’s frosh-soph boys won the Brentwood Tournament at Liberty High after a 12-2 win over Northgate, a 12-5 rout of Washington and an 8-6 victory over Ripon,

Oakdale is at Los Banos today, Sept. 29, and host their next home match in the new Oakdale Aquatic Center on Oct. 4, against Kimball.

“We love the OHS Aquatic Center,” coach Stender said. “Once people experience our facility, we will begin to get asked to host possibly one round of sections water polo next year and more tournaments. Many coaches and referees from the area have commented what a very nice facility we now have as they are just in awe.”