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Crucial Win Over Modesto Christian For Varsity Soccer Squad
Shut out at home - and handed their first Trans-Valley League loss of the season - the varsity Cougars soccer boys bounced back with a win on the road to split their games this week.

The Cougars hosted Riverbank on Tuesday, Oct. 9 and saw the Bruins score a late goal in the first half and score again midway through the second, taking a 2-0 win. It was Escalon's first loss in league and tightened the race for the Trans-Valley League title.

"I give all the credit to Riverbank, they came out and kicked our butt," said co-coach Chris Oliveira.

Riverbank scored both its goals on corner kicks, the first with just seconds remaining in the opening half of play.

"They're getting the advantage we had been getting, with those late goals to tie it or take the lead," Oliveira said.

The last minute goal by Riverbank gave them a huge lift, while putting the Cougars into scramble mode.

Escalon, however, couldn't get anything going against the determined Bruins in the second half.

"We just got killed in the midfield," admitted Oliveira. "They thrashed us. That's a team we need to be up for and we weren't."

For Riverbank, they avenged an earlier season loss at home to the Cougars and the split by the teams makes their final meeting in Riverbank on Oct. 25 a game that could ultimately decide the league title.

"The only guy I felt played good against them was Jose Lopez, we need to take some leadership from him," Oliveira said.

The sweeper was all over the field and did what he could to keep Riverbank under control. The two corner kicks they converted for goals, though, was something that Oliveira said the Cougars have worked on in practice, they just weren't able to keep Riverbank out of the net in the game situation.

Bill Cervantes made seven saves. Escalon fell to 8-1 in league play with the loss, Riverbank improved to 7-2.

On Thursday, the Cougars went to Modesto Christian and battled through a scoreless first half. With time running out in the second half and still no goals on the scoreboard, co-coach Paul Silva gambled and moved Lopez from his sweeper position to the front, hoping to get something going.