Oakmont cruises past Rio Linda 6-2 behind Zwannah Johnson’s hat trick

By: Cameron Salerno
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ROSEVILLE– Oakmont inched one step closer to becoming outright Foothill Valley League champions.


Behind a strong offensive performance and gritty goal play, Oakmont knocked off Rio Linda Tuesday night 6-2 behind a hat trick from Zwannah Johnson and two goals from Joshua Golka.


“Our captains stepped up for our team tonight,” Oakmont soccer coach Tom Sinner said. “(Johnson) specifically is a workhorse and he comes into every game with high intensity. He is just starting to show his true form.”


The Vikings came into the contest on a roll with four straight wins and looking hard to beat. The last non-win the Vikings suffered was to the same Rio Linda team less than three weeks ago, a 1-1 tie.


“Our attitude (was different),” Sinner said on the difference between the first game and Tuesday night’s game. “We came into the last game a little bit too confident. However, now this team has a new mindset to win.”   


The win streak by Oakmont coming into the contest helped the team gain momentum to get off to a fast start. Johnson within the first minute found the back of the net and four minutes later, found it a second time. Before the conclusion of the half, Golka added his first goal of the night to make it 3-0 at the intermission.


Starting the second half, Golka found his second goal of the night in the 42nd minute to take a commanding 4-0 lead. It would take the Knights 58 minutes to score their first goal of the night, which came of a deflection from a group of Vikings defenders.


Minutes later, Johnson found his third goal of the night to clinch the hat trick. A converted penalty kick by both Oakmont and Rio Linda in the final minutes put the score at 6-2, which would go on to be the final.


With the win, Oakmont sets up a date with second-place Ponderosa, which will decide the league title Thursday.


“We have to keep staying in our routine,” Sinner said. “We have a motto that we have to play Oakmont-style soccer and in the second half of league, we are undefeated so it’s paying off for us.”


With the Vikings looking ahead to next week’s postseason, Sinner thinks his team can do some damage in this year’s playoffs.


“I think this team can go all the way,” he said. “If we keep doing what we have been doing and play Oakmont soccer we can definitely do that.”