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Lady Cougar Soccer Squads Notch TVL Wins
Games for Escalon this week included a rout of Riverbank and a thrilling win - the first in seven years - over Ripon.

The varsity soccer girls traveled to Riverbank to start the week with a Tuesday, April 17 game. It was 6-0 at the half, with a 7-0 finale in Escalon's favor.

"We're usually a second half team," said coach Jamie Peoples. "But the girls just came out on fire."

Alana Kualapai had five goals in the game, with Taylor Morrow notching one goal and one assist. Ally Gonzalez had a goal as well, while Leslie Garcia contributed two assists in her first varsity game.

"She assisted on the first two goals, did a really nice job," said Peoples.

Goalie Leah Martinez made two stops in the second half, getting the ball out of harm's way before it became an actual shot on goal for the host Lady Bruins.

Thursday, hosting Ripon, Escalon won 4-1.

"It was 3-0 at half, again we got off to a great start," Peoples said.

Jackie Valeriano had a goal and an assist, Gonzales had two goals and one assist and Kualapai had the second half goal, off an assist from Jaylyne Serpa.

"All of those goals were such pretty goals, the last one, Jaylyne took the ball down the line and sent it on a cross ... Alana headed it in," Peoples said of the picture perfect work between the pair. Gonzales had an assist on Valeriano's goal, and Valeriano assisted on the first of the two scores by Gonzales, as the team worked well together. Goalie Logan LaRossa made three saves.

"We haven't beaten Ripon in seven years, we tied this year once already, now we've beaten them once," Peoples said. "This was a convincing win, we had 18 shots on goal, which is exactly how the first game went, the difference was this time we finished our opportunities and we pressured them from the start."

The varsity girls have clinched a playoff spot and are looking for continued success on the pitch in their final few league games before postseason play starts.

"This was a really good team effort, I'm happy with how well they played," Peoples said.

The girls will be at Hughson on Thursday and host league-leading Hilmar for Senior Day on Tuesday, May 1, with seniors Taylor Morrow, Ally Gonzales, Sabrina Luque, Janelle Giuntoli and Cindy Gutierrez due to be recognized prior to the contest.

Junior Varsity

After losing their best player, Leslie Garcia, to the varsity squad, Escalon's JV girls came together for a 3-0 win on the road at Riverbank on Tuesday, April 24.

Riverbank allowed an own goal to start, but then the JV girls got a couple on their own.

Natalia Hernandez scored unassisted and Mikayla Spurgeon put one in with an assist from Yarissa Cruz.

"We won easily, the kids played well," said JV coach Chris West.

On the home field against Ripon on Thursday, it was a 2-1 loss for the squad.

"I was really pleased with the effort, even though we lost," West said. "The Ripon coach paid us a really nice compliment, he said we gave his team the best game they have had this season."

Lindsey Delgado had a nice goal in the second half to get the JV Lady Cougars back to within a goal after Ripon scored twice in the first half, but they couldn't get the equalizer.

"Courtney Furtado and Julie Victorino were particularly good on Thursday and Cassie Murken, in goal, was solid," said West. "Their first goal was incredible, a highlight reel goal and the second goal, it was just a good athlete that outran our athlete, and finished it.

"I really thought we did very, very well."

The girls were scheduled to play at home Tuesday, April 24 hosting Orestimba after The Times went to press. They will be at Hughson on Thursday and close out the season with a game at home hosting Hilmar on May 1.