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Cougar Boys Keeping Eye On Soccer Playoffs

Scoring two goals in each of their games this week, one contest was a win and the other a loss for Escalon’s varsity soccer boys.

The Cougars took a 3-2 loss to Livingston and defeated Modesto Christian by a final of 2-0.

Escalon hosted the Wolves on Tuesday, Jan. 22 and took a lead in the first half, scoring about 30 minutes in to the contest.

“Alexis Rodriguez, a freshman I brought up, scored the goal,” head coach Paul Silva explained.

The score remained that way until the Wolves tied it up 10 minutes into the second half.

“About 13 minutes in, Guillermo Alvarez got taken down in the box and we got a penalty kick, Guillermo converted on it,” Silva said of the host team regaining the lead at 2-1.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Wolves found a way to knot the score with about four minutes to play in the game.

“It was from about 35 yards out, a shot to the top corner,” Silva said of the highlight reel goal. “Then with a minute left, we got called for a foul in the box and Livingston converted on the penalty kick.”

That gave the visitors a 3-2 lead, and Livingston left town with the win in hand.

“It was pretty heartbreaking,” admitted Silva. “They’re a very good team and we went toe to toe with them, I was very proud of the effort.”

Bryan Barrientos got the start in goal and had nine saves.

“He kept us in the game,” Silva added. “Livingston is one of the best programs in the area and has been for a long time.”

Thursday the varsity boys traveled to Modesto Christian and took a 2-0 win off the field there from the Crusaders.

“We scored in the first minute, Guillermo Alvarez got the goal and Alexis Rodriguez got the assist,” Silva said.

It was 1-0 at the half and midway through the second half, Moises Grajeda scored unassisted to make it a 2-0 final.

Oscar Gonzalez was in goal for the first half and was credited with one save; Clay Evans had one save in goal in the second half.

“We controlled the tempo and we had a lot of shots but only two went in, we were not as clinical in front of the net as we should have been,” said the coach.

The JV team had just one game, falling 3-0 to Livingston on Tuesday, with no JV team fielded this season by Modesto Christian.

Escalon was slated to play their final regular home game of the season on Jan. 29, after The Times went to press, with the game being part of Senior Night.

“I think I have a senior to start at every position,” Silva noted.

The Cougars will then head to Hilmar for a pivotal league game on Thursday, Jan. 31.

“Right now we’re in third place, a game ahead of Riverbank, a couple of games behind Hilmar,” Silva said.

Three teams from the Trans-Valley League will make the playoffs this season; the Cougars are aiming to be one of them.



The final score didn’t go Escalon’s way in girls soccer action, as the varsity Lady Cougars fell to Livingston by a 7-1 final in their lone game this past week.

“It was 1-0 at half and then we fell apart,” admitted head coach Jamie Peoples. “Kyleigh Raffety had our goal and Alexis Titsworth had the assist.”

Playing in goal for Escalon, Leticia Gutierrez notched eight saves against the host Lady Wolves.

The JV team took a shutout loss at Livingston, 3-0.

The girls were slated to play at Hughson on Tuesday after The Times went to press and will be home to host Hilmar on Thursday, Jan. 31.