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Oakdale comes through with historic win

Mustangs knock Sierra out of first to stay in contention

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Oakdale comes through with historic win

Sierra forward Mariela Pimentel makes the cross before Oakdale defender Sara Olsen can get to it.


POSTED April 21, 2010 2:35 a.m.

Oakdale High girls soccer coach Alfredo Quiroga couldn’t remember the last time his team beat perennial Valley Oak League powerhouse Sierra after Tuesday’s 3-1 stunner at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

That’s because it had never before happened, said Sierra coach Manuel Pires.

The Mustangs (7-1-3, 14-3-4 overall), who vaulted themselves back into postseason contention while maintaining an outside chance of capturing the league title with the win, had come closer and closer to doing so in their previous showdowns with Sierra.

Last year, Sierra snuck away with two one-goal victories en route to earning its 10th VOL championship in 15 years, and in Oakdale on March 23 the two teams battled to a scoreless draw.
“We have been very close,” Quiroga said. “We tied them last time at home, and it was a game that we totally controlled except for the first 10 minutes.

“But tonight, we pretty much had the game under control. We took the game to them. The girls deserved it. I think today the best team won on the field, even though they may be the better team (on paper).”

Much like their first match, Sierra (9-1-2, 13-5-2) took charge early on and unleashed the first attempt on goal — a well-driven shot from Joanna Ortizin the 8th minute that goalkeeper Morgan Kinyon smothered for the first of her eight saves.

The Timberwolves showed no signs of slowing down midway through the opening half despite Oakdale taking a two-goal lead.

The first Oakdale score came in the 10th minute after defender Lexi Seese cleared the ball to Sierra’s end of the field. Fleet-footed freshman Jill Kahler got past the Sierra defense, controlled the ball off the bounce, and her initial shot was deflected by keeper Moriah Fallon (five saves). Kahler touched it in off the rebound uncontested.

Just four minutes later, Hailey Turney headed one in off a cornerkick from Jenna Micheletti.

Sierra cut the deficit in half in the 25th minute when Mariela Pimentel set Ortiz up nicely for a routine 1-on-1.

“Even though we were down 2-0, we still possessed the ball and had some chances, but our game never got into rhythm,” Pires said. “They took over the midfield pretty much the whole game and made us chase everything. We had open players but we were not able to connect the passes.

“We could not get the passing game going, and you have to give Oakdale credit, they were the better team.”

It was a stalemate over the middle 40 minutes of the game, and Oakdale had a chance to ice the win with 13 minutes to go after Megan Mossman was fouled in the penalty box. Fallon blocked Mossman’s penalty-kick attempt, but that only delayed the inevitable.

Six minutes later, Kristen Brunk deflected in a cross from Mossman to cap the final score and ruin Sierra’s chance to salvage a tie.

“Moriah kept us in the game with the save,” Pires said. “That kept the door open, but we could not take advantage of it. That was an opportunity for the team to step up and it didn’t make much of a difference. Oakdale still took it to us, and we had to continue work very hard for every shot we took.”

Crosstown rival Manteca, which Sierra has beaten twice, regains sole possession of first place after a 9-0 thumping of Weston Ranch.

But there are still games left to be played over the final 2 ½ weeks of the regular season. Sierra wraps up its brutal three-game week at East Union, which it previously tied, 0-0.

Oakdale, after beating both EU and Sierra in the second half of league play, still has to take on Manteca and Sonora — two teams that may have killed its title hopes two weeks ago after dropping a 1-0 decision to the former and settling for a 1-1 draw with the latter.

“That’s probably going to end up hurting us for the championship, but I think the playoffs are well within reach,” Quiroga said. “Manteca has to come to our town (May 4), and believe me we are going to come in really strong. I know that we are a better team than Manteca.”

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