Oakdale faced off against a familiar foe in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff semifinals when the fourth seeded Lady Mustangs took on the top seeded East Union Lady Lancers. Like everyone else in the Valley Oak League, Oakdale fell to East Union twice during the regular season, and the playoff outcome was no different as Oakdale lost a tough contest, 3-1 on Wednesday, May 13 at East Union, ending the season for the Lady Mustangs. East Union went on to defeat VOL foe Manteca 2-0 in the Section final on Saturday, May 16.
Entering the Wednesday playoff game, Oakdale knew the obstacle that stood before them. The reigning Valley Oak League champion Lady Lancers finished the regular season surrendering a league low five goals, three of which Oakdale scored. Their stingy defense continued during the postseason by not giving up a goal in their first two games.
Like they did in the regular season, the Lady Mustangs put a stop to East Union’s shutout soccer. East Union took a 1-0 lead into the half, and the top seeded girls built up a 3-0 advantage early in the second half as the Lady Lancers cashed in on two penalty kick opportunities. Oakdale scored their lone goal of the game when senior forward Ashley Arnett found the net unassisted midway through the second half. It was Arnett’s seventh goal in three games of postseason play for the Lady Mustangs.
“She (Arnett) played very well, a difference maker every game. She and the other seniors will be missed,” shared head coach Alfredo Quiroga on his nine seniors who played their final game in an Oakdale uniform.
Always a tall task to stop the high powered East Union offense, goalkeepers Melissa Ibarra (junior) and Mackenzie Weiglein (senior) managed to hold their own, combining for five saves in the game.
“The goalkeepers did their best and they played hard. East Union was just the better team on the field,” Quiroga said. “Our girls played their hearts out, all season long including today. Regardless of the outcome, the girls played hard and I am proud of them.”
Although the season is over, four members of the team received All-VOL honors for their outstanding play during the campaign. Senior fullback Sydney Sudaria, senior defenseman Lexi Halsey, senior forward Ashely Arnett and junior forward Madison Feuerstein were acknowledged by other coaches in the VOL for the honor.