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Gunners U16 Soccer Boys Capture Presidents Cup
Minutes after clinching their Presidents Cup victory, the Oakdale Gunners U16 Soccer Club celebrated in front of the goal at Bartholomew Sports Park in Elk Grove. The team qualified to play in the upcoming Regionals tournament slated in June in Seattle, Washington. Photo Contributed


Oakdale’s competitive travel team, the Gunners Under 16 boys competitive soccer squad, has made big waves this season, including winning the Presidents Cup in NorCal state competition recently.

In five games over the course of two weekends, the Gunners earned the right to move on to regional play next month in Seattle, Washington.

The first weekend of the Presidents Cup Tournament was hosted at Cherry Island Soccer Complex, with the Gunners battling first to a 2-2 tie with the San Francisco Vikings. They then fell in a close contest to San Francisco Youth Soccer FC United by a 4-3 final in the second game of bracket play. Both those games were played on Saturday, April 11.

In action on Sunday, April 12, it was the Gunners shutting out Central Valley with a 1-0 score, Miguel Martinez clinching it with a successful kick that went to the upper left side of the net. That win advanced them into the Cup semifinals the following weekend, April 18.

The Gunners took on San Francisco FC United in the semifinal round. Austin Neave scored Oakdale’s first goal early with a shot from 40 yards out. Martinez and Israel Valero also added goals for the team to help the Gunners win 3-0.

In the final game, against the Earthquakes affiliate Central Valley San Jose FC, it came down to the final few minutes to decide the winner. With a scoreless first half, and throughout most of the second, the Earthquakes made a costly error and scored a goal in their own net to give the Gunners a 1-0 lead with under 10 minutes to play. Minutes later, Valero put the Gunners up 2-0 with a goal of his own. With less than three minutes remaining the Earthquakes struck to cut the lead to 2-1. But the Gunners held tight and survived the scare, bringing home the coveted Presidents Cup.

With the tournament title, the club is set to go to the Regionals in Seattle, Washington. The six-day tournament begins Wednesday, June 9 in Seattle.