Oakmont soccer searches for offense in rebuilding year
Though she calls it “an awful cliché,” Oakmont High School soccer coach Sondra Myles used the term “rebuilding” to describe her team this season.
The Vikings are tasked with replacing nine graduated seniors from a team that made it to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II quarterfinals last year.
Oakmont is led by senior defenders Kendall Boshart, who will play collegiately at Point Loma Nazarene, and Tiffani Rice and goalkeeper Paige Thomas. Junior defender Katie Carte is pulling double duty; she’s also a middle-distance runner on Oakmont’s track and field team.
“That’s where our strength is,” Myles said of the backfield. “We need to use our skill a little bit more consistently on offense come game time.”
Offense has been a struggle so far for Oakmont (0-8-1 overall, 0-2 Capital Valley Conference). Rice and senior midfielder Nicole Pasdera figure to be the top threats after combining for six goals and seven assists last season.
Myles anticipates the biggest challenges in the CVC to again come from defending league-champion Christian Brothers and Bella Vista, who finished just ahead of the Vikings last season. Oakmont lost to Christian Brothers 3-2 on Tuesday.
“My girls have great attitude and desire,” Myles said. “They’re awesome kids who have responded well to the challenge.”
Track and field
Oakmont’s varsity boys are 10-0 in the CVC after winning the second center meet of the season Wednesday at home. The varsity girls and JV boys are 8-2 in the CVC, having finished second in each center meet.
For the girls, Karlie Garcia and Marisa Carino have carried over their 1-2 distance punch from cross country season last fall. Garcia has the second-best two-mile time in the section at 10:58, and Carino won the mile and 800 on Wednesday.
Coach Ryan Nugent said the Vikings also are receiving big points from Katie Carte in sprints and jumps, and Leah Selby has the top pole vault in the CVC at 9 feet 6 inches.
Montana Weekes leads Oakmont’s boys. He doubled in the 100 and 110 hurdles Wednesday, and Derrick Booth won the 300 hurdles and long jump.
With a boys roster stocked with swimmers from the Vikings’ water polo team, coach Ryan Cornilsen anticipates the team to dominate in the shorter distances.
Alex Kim already has qualified for the section meet in eight individual races in the young season. He also swims on a relay team with fellow seniors Tyler Carl, Steven Barocio and Matt Fors.
Hannah Woster and Brigid Wheeler, both section qualifiers last season, lead the girls squad along with Miranda Green. All are juniors. Hannah Kim and Bella Davis are expected to make an impact in their freshman seasons.
Oakmont has a young, yet experienced corps returning to the links. Led by sophomore section Masters qualifier Corey Eddings, coach Gary Donnell believes the Vikings have potential to make a run at the CVC title, owned recently by Christian Brothers. Oakmont was second in the CVC last year and played in the Division II section tournament.
Junior brothers Josh Will, a left-hander, and Zach Will, a righty, add to the depth, and Donnell is excited about the development of sophomore Ash Patel.
First-year coach Christine Mabery is preaching to her players to stay within their individual games in hopes the team performs better this year than last. The Vikings were 2-8 in the CVC last year, finishing fourth.
Taylor Phan is atop Oakmont’s ladder. The crafty junior expects to compete with a strong, consistent serve and an assortment of shots. Arthur Guitarte, despite not playing last year, will compete at No. 4 singles, relying on shot selection and a powerful serve. Austin Somers began the season at No. 5 on the singles ladder after competing in doubles last season. Mabery lauds his ability to cover ground quickly.
The Vikings (8-4, 5-0) are strong favorites to repeat as CVC champions with eight seniors returning to coach Levalasi Key, including starters Ryan Siu, Kent Makishima, Nick McCue and Luke Turner. Siu was the MVP of the CVC last spring, and Makishima was an All-CVC selection.
McCue, a threat on the attack and the block, and Siu figure to see plenty of swings on the left side while Makishima and senior Tim Grooms patrol the middle.
Oakmont went 10-0 in the CVC last year before being upended by Antelope in a five-set match in the Division II section quarterfinals.