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Booters Aim For Winning Combo
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A shutout loss, followed by a busy Saturday in tournament play, kept Escalon's varsity Cougars hopping on the soccer field this week.

Livingston came to town to kick off the Trans-Valley League season on Thursday, defeating the host Cougars by a 3-0 decision.

"I just thought they were physical," coach Chris Oliveira said of the hard-hitting contest. "Some of it, maybe we should have had some fouls called but they just wanted it more."

Livingston's first goal came on a defensive breakdown by Escalon and they got their second when the Livingston player got behind his defender and made it pay off, getting the shot past keeper Gui Carneiro.

A third score in the second half put the game out of reach.

"Their keeper looked pretty confident but we didn't pressure him," Oliveira said. "Gui did his best for us and in the second half, we had a few of our guys get hurt, we had to bring out the ice packs."

Peter Krumeich finished the game in goal for the Cougars, after Carneiro got hurt.

"We've got to change some things," Oliveira said of making more of a statement on the field. "We're good but in the TVL, you can be good and you can still be fourth or fifth place."

After the shutout loss on Thursday, the varsity team traveled to the eight-team Ripon Tournament on Saturday and went 1-2 there, finishing fourth.

"I was pretty pleased with the way we played, we just didn't score many goals," Oliveira said.

Starting off with Turlock Christian, the teams battled to a 1-1 tie, Escalon taking the win by virtue of penalty kicks.

They then faced off against Patterson and lost a 5-0 decision. The game, however, should not have been that much of a blowout, said Oliveira.

"We scored a goal on ourselves and gave up two penalty kicks," he explained.

Taking on Hughson in the third place match to close out the day, the teams played to a scoreless tie, Hughson winning that match on penalty kicks after regulation play ended.

"We finished fourth but it was nice to see them bounce back, they worked some good passes and looked like a totally different team," Oliveira said of regrouping after the Thursday loss. "We had some moral victories, but those aren't the kind of victories we want."

The Cougars will be looking for game victories this week, traveling to Ripon and Hughson for league contests, Tuesday and Thursday.