Players for the U16 boys and U14 girls headed to Fresno to battle it out for the Oakdale United competitive soccer program over the weekend.
The U16 boys had a tough go, meeting up with some powerful south valley squads. The boys ended the tournament with one tie and two losses.
The U14 girls, meanwhile, hit their stride and took down all opponents, winning the first three games in flight play by shutout and taking the tournament championship with a decisive 5-1 victory.
Head coach Brian Orr, who oversees both teams, was able to divide his time between the two, with assistant coaches for the boys also on hand to help coach that team when the schedules of the boys and girls games overlapped.
In their opening game on Saturday the boys lost a 5-2 contest to Lemoore, a fast, physical team.
Many of the U16 boys are on the younger side of the age bracket, working hard to stay with their older opponents. Coach Orr said he was proud of their effort throughout the weekend.
“Lemoore was a tough loss, the officials would never let us get in the game,” he noted. “The boys played well, they were down 2-0 and tied it up 2-2 but I feel the poor officiating took the boys out of it.”
Fabian Torres and Javier Aguiniga scored for Oakdale in the game against Lemoore.
The boys took on the CA Odyssey Blue team from the Fresno area on Saturday afternoon and battled again, taking a 3-2 lead before giving up the equalizer on a case of miscommunication in the backfield. Javier Aguiniga scored all three goals for his team in that game.
“It was a heartbreaker,” coach Orr said of the miscue that afforded the Odyssey the chance to tie it up.
The game featured plenty of yellow cards, warnings and one red card for the Odyssey team, whistled for rough play and talking back to the officials. The team was penalized one point for the red card, so the Oakdale boys earned more points for the tie than did the Odyssey.
The eight points out of round one gave Oakdale the chance to qualify for the consolation round, but their Sunday morning opponent — Ceres Earthquakes — brought an incredibly physical style of play to the field. Oakdale found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-0 score in a game that again featured hard hitting, yellow cards and some very heated emotions between two teams that have knocked heads in the past.
“We were missing three players for the tournament, a couple of our defenders and Sean Harrity was out part of Sunday due to a foot injury,” Orr said. “But he and David Pafford and Leon Franciosa played great defense.
“About 70 percent of the boys are in their first year of playing Under 16.”
In comp, there is an adjustment period, so Orr anticipates that the squad will come together more as they continue with tournaments and get ready for league play starting in December.
“We’ll get everyone healthy, let them finish up the high school soccer season,” Orr said.
The two teams that Oakdale lost to in the tournament both advanced, Lemoore playing for the championship and Ceres for the consolation.
For the Oakdale Insanity Under 14 girls, they played their way to the second championship in as many tournaments this season, coming home with a 4-0 mark from the tourney.
They started out with a 5-0 thrashing of Odyssey Blue in a chilly 8 a.m. game on Saturday in Flight A, with goals from Christina Bradshaw, Danae Rose and Katie Homer. Izzy Arellano set up Bradshaw, with Brittnie Carpenter assisting on the first goal from Rose, Arellano on the second, Carpenter sending the pass to Homer for goal number four and Homer connecting unassisted for the fifth goal of the day. Katelyn Jackson stopped all Odyssey shots on goal and the defense also played strong in front of her.
Game two pitted the Insanity against the Madera Magic and it was a 3-0 win in that contest, with Rose notching a goal five minutes in off an assist on a clearing kick from defender Ally Jackson. Forward Bradshaw found Rose tearing down the side in the second half for a 2-0 lead and Arellano capped the scoring with an unassisted tally in the second half to make it 3-0.
The Sunday morning game saw Oakdale take on hometown favorite Fresno United and it was a 2-0 victory for the Insanity, scoring three minutes in on a dish from Rose to Bradshaw, who found Arellano for the shot. A corner kick by Arellano in the second half found its way in, providing the margin of victory.
Defense again was strong, with keeper Jackson not letting any shots through to the back of the net.
In the championship game, the Insanity made a statement, topping Flight B winner Bullard F.C. White by a 5-1 final, giving up their only goal of the tournament.
The Oakdale girls took a 4-0 lead, with three in the first half and one to open the second, before Bullard got on the board.
Carpenter and Arellano assisted on the first goal from Rose, Rose converted on a penalty kick for goal two, Arellano took a throw in from Carpenter to the goal for number three. In the second half, Bradshaw connected on a pass from Rose to put the girls up 4-0.
Bullard got a goal about 18 minutes in to the second half, with the Insanity getting it back two minutes late, Homer passing it to Rose for the 5-1 lead. The defense tightened up from there and it was another title for the team.
“The whole defense played well, Kori Altmann, Ally Jackson, Montana Nunes, Brieanna Antonio, Alyssa Perigen, along with our goalie, Katelyn Jackson, they shut opponents out the first thee games,” Orr said. “The midfielders, Katie Homer, Brittnie Carpenter, Jessica Estrada, were strong all weekend.”
The forwards pummeled the opponents’ goal in every game, and Orr said the girls played outstanding as a team, with everyone contributing.
“It was just a total team effort,” Orr said. “These were strong, physical teams we played and the girls outhustled them, beat them to the ball up and down the field.”