Taking a 3-0 halftime lead, Escalon didn’t look back in fashioning a 5-1 victory over Mesa Verde in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V soccer playoffs.
The host Lady Cougars grabbed a 1-0 lead midway through the first half in the May 8 game in Escalon and got two late scores to open it up. Second half action saw them notch two more goals before Mesa Verde spoiled the shutout bid in the waning moments of the game.
“We got two goals from AnnaLena Simson, she also had an assist,” coach Jamie Peoples said. “Jaylyne Serpa had a goal and two assists, Yarissa Cruz had a goal, Leslie Garcia had a goal.”
Vanessa Kualapai notched an assist on a corner kick that Simson sent into the goal with a header, while Jackie Valeriano also had an assist.
“Logan (LaRossa) was in goal but she didn’t have that much action,” Peoples said of her offense maintaining good ball possession. “She had three saves.”
The win in the first round puts Escalon back into action today, Wednesday, May 14 at home. They take on West Campus, which topped Calaveras in opening round play. Game time is 3:30 p.m. and admission for the playoff game is $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and students, under 5 admitted free.
Peoples said the Lady Cougars will have to bring their ‘A’ game to the field against West Campus.
“This is the team that beat us the last two years in the first round at their place,” she said, noting that revenge could be a good motivating factor for her team. “They score goals, some of their wins were 11-0, 12-0 and they beat Mesa Verde 13-0 or 13-1.”
The defense will be called on to step it up, the coach added, to keep West Campus in check, while the Lady Cougar offense needs to seize every opportunity.
“We have to know that they’re going to be offensively strong,” said Peoples. “We have to counter that with our defense.”
Weather is also likely to impact the contest, with high temperatures hovering near or just over the 100-degree mark, hitting triple digits for the first time this year.
“The heat is going to be huge,” agreed Peoples. “Nobody will be ready for that.”