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JV Boys Win Pair Split Of Week One Games For Varsity Soccer Boys
Eking out a 1-0 win in their season opener, the varsity soccer boys held off Amador in a Thursday afternoon contest at home, Aug. 27.

"The first half we were real tentative, we started slow and Amador came out like gangbusters," said coach Paul Silva. "The second half we really settled down and had a lot more opportunities."

The teams battled through a scoreless first half and it looked as though the game would end in a 0-0 tie until late in the contest, when Javier Albor found a way to get it past the Amador keeper.

On the rush, Albor headed up the left side and the pass from Armando Gonzalez was between Albor and the goalie, who came rushing out of the box in the attempt to make the save. Albor got a foot on it just before the goalie could get his hands on it but the two collided, Albor going up and over the keeper, who was sliding in for the save attempt. The ball trickled in to the net despite the slide block effort of an Amador defenseman and it was 1-0 Escalon with less than five minutes to go.

Albor was shaken up on the play and had to come off the field when coach Silva was summoned. He did not return, though Silva said it did not appear to be a serious injury.

"We had eight shots on goal, Amador had five shots and our goalie Alejandro Torres had five saves," added Silva. "He did well for the saves he did have."

Silva said it has taken the team some work to learn to play together, as there are only three starters from last year's team back. There are several seniors on the squad, but they haven't played at this level before.

"There were a lot of nerves," Silva said of the feeling prior to the first game. "It took time to gel."

Friday night, the team headed out on the road, traveling to Calaveras to play an evening contest under the lights.

There, it was the same score - 1-0 - but this time it was a loss for the varsity squad.

"It was tough, we were missing six guys, four of them were starters and the other two play a lot," Silva said of losing a couple to illness, injury and one to a conflicting work schedule. "I had a bunch of guys playing positions they weren't accustomed to but they showed a lot of character and played hard."

Calaveras scored its only goal on a free kick in the first half and the teams played pretty evenly, Escalon keeping it close. Torres had six saves on the night and Escalon managed to take eight shots on goal.

"All things considered, I was very happy, as happy as you can be with a loss," Silva said of coming up short but satisfied with the effort.

They were scheduled to play at Livingston on Monday, Aug. 31 after The Times went to press and will be back on the home field for a Thursday, Sept. 3 game hosting Venture Academy.

The JV boys, meanwhile, with coach Talmage Allen at the helm, took a couple of solid wins in action this week, defeating Amador by a 6-1 final and shutting out Calaveras 6-0.

"They score goals like they're going out of style," Silva said. "They have a couple of guys up front, one is physically superior to everyone else and one is faster than everyone else."

That makes for a good combination, with the JV team opening up the campaign at 2-0.

Head JV coach Talmage Allen noted that the scoring was spread around, with five different players hitting the net. In Thursday's opener it was tied 1-1 at the half before Allen challenged his players to put the Amador goalie to work.

"They weren't taking enough shots," he said of first half action.

The JV squad changed that in the second half, punching five more goals through for the 6-1 win.

Gustavo Medina had the first half goal, with two from Carlos Algandar, two from Hector Esparza and one from Ulices Lupercio rounding out the scoring.

On Friday, the boys shut out host Calaveras 6-0.

"It was a great win," said Allen.

Up 2-0 at the half, the JV boys kept the pressure on and were rewarded with the win.

Esparza notched a hat trick, getting three goals. Algandar added one and Hugo Cervantes tallied two goals in the victory.