There was only one game on the schedule for Escalon’s varsity soccer teams this week. The boys hosted Riverbank while the girls traveled to play the Lady Bruins and both teams came away with victories.
For the varsity boys, it was a 3-2 win over the visiting Bruins, a way to celebrate Senior Night for the squad.
“We were up 2-1 at the half,” said head coach Paul Silva. “We scored in the first minute, Ricky Erazo scored on an assist from Emiliano Rodriguez.”
The score came before the teams had really settled in.
“I got the ball from Emiliano and their goalie didn’t move,” Erazo said of the Bruin keeper uncertain which way to go as Erazo dribbled in. “I just touched it in.”
At the 10-minute mark, Alexiz Rodriguez scored to put the Cougars back on the board.
“It was a pure hustle play, he pressured the defender, got the ball, the ball bounced to the goalie, Alexiz rushed it, the goalie deflected it and it hit Alexiz in the chest and went in,” explained Silva.
Four minutes into the second half, Riverbank scored to knot the game at 2-2 and the winning goal came with about 25 minutes left in the game, Rodriguez getting the goal on a through ball from Moises Grajeda. Brayan Barrientos made six saves on the night.
The win clinched third place for the Cougars in the Trans-Valley League at 5-3-2 and put them in the postseason, set for a trip to Summerville on Tuesday, Feb. 18 after The Times went to press for the opening round of the Division V playoffs.
Ending the season with a 2-2 draw against Riverbank, the JV Cougar boys went 5-3 in the Trans-Valley League and were 11-9 overall.
It was a 1-0 lead for Escalon at halftime, with Miguel Granados notching the goal on an Andres Beltran assist in the first half.
Mariano Mancilla had the second half goal for Escalon.
“We conceded both of their goals in the second half,” said head coach Polo Rodriguez.
The team was without both its main defender and its main forward for the game, but Rodriguez said he liked the way the team has played the last several contests, making strides throughout the season.
“Our offense has improved a lot,” he noted.
Escalon’s varsity girls were able to watch some of the boys game at home on Thursday before boarding the bus for their own match, which was under the lights at Riverbank. As the bus rolled by the Escalon soccer field, the girls cheered on their counterparts, then went and crafted a shutout victory, 2-0 against the host Lady Bruins.
“We had a ton of opportunities and finished two early,” said head coach Jamie Peoples. “Everyone got a lot of playing time, even the three underclassmen I pulled up.”
Georgina Gallo had a goal and an assist, Mya Beary had a goal and Briana Briones-Chavarria had an assist.
The girls were scheduled to open playoffs at Amador on Tuesday night, after The Times went to press.