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JV Champions Varsity Soccer Boys Battling League Foes
Battling along the sideline, Jorge Galvan of Escalon pokes at the ball as does his Riverbank opponent during Trans-Valley League play earlier this season. The Cougars are home for a 3:30 p.m. game today, Oct. 23. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Times

In a week where they needed to get as many points as they could, Escalon’s varsity soccer team took one loss and escaped a home game with a tie, but couldn’t get a win on the books.

They faced off with Ripon on Oct. 14, falling to the Indians by a 3-1 final.

“It was 2-0 at halftime and they went up 3-0 in the second half,” said coach Paul Silva. “We scored with about ten minutes left in the game, Luis Chavez scored on an assist from Jorge Galvan.

Keeper Dervin Murphy had seven saves in 55 minutes of work; Alfredo Gomez came on to finish out the final 25 minutes and had a pair of saves.

“It was a pretty frustrating game,” admitted Silva. “We played really well, had so many opportunities to score but that has been the story of our season. For 80 minutes, we outplayed Ripon.

“We’d control play, had good possessions, opportunities, we just couldn’t finish.”

Wednesday, hosting Orestimba, the teams battled in a scoreless first half before Escalon got the lead on a Jairo Duran goal, assisted by Jose Pantoja.

“We played really well, especially in the first half but we missed four one-on-ones, we missed a two-foot goal, we had Orestimba back on their feet,” Silva explained.

The Cougars just couldn’t get more than the one goal and the Warriors were able to tie it up in the final 15 minutes.

“Orestimba really turned it on,” agreed Silva. “We have been playing good soccer as a team; it’s just so frustrating that we can’t finish our chances.”

The squad was slated to play at Hughson on Monday, after sports press time for The Times, and will host Hilmar for their home finale, Senior Night, on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Seniors recognized will include Luis Chavez, Carlos Coreno, Isaac Mancillas, Dervin Murphy, Jose Pantoja and Octavio Valladolid.


Junior Varsity

On Monday, Escalon’s JV team beat Ripon 5-0.

“We were leading 1-0 at half on an unassisted goal by Erik Paez,” said coach Chris Oliveira. “Erik ended up with a hat trick on the game with Fabricio and Chris Gutierrez-Gallo scoring one each.”

Luis Garcia, Will Turner, and Juan Albor contributed assists.

On the home field for a Wednesday, Oct. 16 contest, the JV boys beat Orestimba 3-2 to wrap up the league championship.

“We were leading 3-0 at half on goals from Ulisses Ramirez (first of the year), Luis Garcia, and an own goal,” said Oliveira. “Fabricio Gutierrez-Gallo, Juan Albor and Andrew Benitez contributed assists.”

Orestimba scored on a free kick and a penalty kick in the second half to tighten things up but the JV boys held on for the win and the TVL title.

“Ultimately, it’s been a very satisfying season thus far,” Oliveira said. “At this point we are 10-1-4 with a 6-0-1 league record. I’m very thankful to have had this group of sophomores. They’ve contributed to turning around a team that had zero wins the year before their arrival with back-to-back league titles and a bracket championship in the Gregori Tournament.

“Quite a group.”

The squad will wrap up its season at home today, Wednesday, Oct. 23 against Hilmar.

The varsity game will start at 3:30 p.m. and the JV game will follow on the varsity field at EHS.