In their two matches this week, the Oakdale High School varsity boys soccer team survived first half scares. Oakdale (10-4-4, 7-1-2) fell behind early at Kimball (3-13-3, 0-9-1) and again at Sierra (8-6-2, 5-3-1) but battled their way back to a pair of victories.
Oakdale’s first Valley Oak League match of the week took place in Tracy on Tuesday night, Jan. 28. The Mustangs had a sluggish start to the contest as the host Jaguars leaped out to a 2-0 first half lead. In the second half Oakdale scored three consecutive goals to have a 3-2 advantage. The Jaguars tied the game late but on a penalty kick by Kaleb McDonald, the Mustangs escaped Kimball with a 4-3 victory. Senior David Ayala had a big game for the Mustangs as he scored the first three goals for Oakdale. Alfie Harris, Miguel Lopez and Kaleb McDonald each had an assist.
“We went into Kimball too confident I think, the boys overlooked them and it nearly cost us dearly,” said Mustangs head coach Alfredo Quiroga. “It was a lesson that they learned really fast because they walked off the field looking relieved.” Oakdale had defeated Kimball 6-0 earlier this season. Riley Blount and Kevin Camelin each served as goalkeepers and combined for seven saves.
On Thursday night, Jan. 30 the boys traveled to Manteca to take on the Sierra Timberwolves. Once again the boys fell behind early and faced a 1-0 deficit at the half. Just as they had earlier in the week, the varsity squad regrouped in the second half and scored three unanswered goals to earn a 3-1 road win. Goals were scored by Kaleb McDonald, Yassin Frej and Brandon Martinez. It was the first goal of the season for both Martinez and Frej. Assists came from Harris, McDonald and Miguel Lopez.
“Sierra is a very tough team, and we were cautious about this game. We did not want to go in and make the same mistakes as we did against Kimball. The boys knew that they needed to win that game and were focused in the second half,” Quiroga said.
Blount was in goal for the entire game and had five saves, helping complete the season sweep of the Timberwolves as the Oakdale varsity had won 2-1 earlier this winter.
This week the boys are scheduled to take the field at Oakdale for the final home game of the regular season. Thursday night, Feb. 6 the squad will host Weston Ranch (9-1-5, 7-1, 1). The two teams met on Jan. 9 and the showdown ended in a 1-1 tie.
“This is the big one for us; it is for the league title,” Quiroga pointed out. “Our goal since the first day of practice was to win the Valley Oak League title, and win the section. too.”
This will also be Senior Night 2020, with the seniors on the team recognized prior to the game.
Oakdale wraps up the season at Central Catholic on Feb. 11. In their first meeting, the Mustangs defeated the Raiders 3-2 on Jan. 16.
The junior varsity boys played two road matches and were successful in each of them. Oakdale shut out Kimball 10-0 and defeated Sierra 3-0. Oakdale scored two goals in the first half against Kimball and then poured it on with eight more in the second half. Three goals in the win came from Ryan Krause, along with two by Junior Blanco, and single goals by Carter Sturtevant, Juan Martinez, Chris Diaz, Alfred Fernandez and Jaymon Garcia. Assists came from Angel Pineda with three, and notching one apiece were Sturtevant, Martinez, Blanco and Vincent Peterson.
Peterson also played goalkeeper in the first half and had two saves. In the second half it was Jaydon Courtney in net, coming away with four saves.
In the match against Sierra, goals came from Alfredo Fernandez, Ryan Krause and Carter Sturtevant. Peterson played goalkeeper and had five saves.