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Shutout Soccer Win For Varsity Cougars
Senior Jairo Duran goes up and over to head the ball in competition at Escalon against Hughson on Thursday. The host Cougars were 8-0 winners in the game. Marg Jackson/The Times


Leading 3-0 at the half, Escalon continued to pummel the Hughson goal on Thursday, ending up with an 8-0 victory in Trans-Valley League soccer action.

It was a young Huskies team that came in – as Hughson doesn’t have a JV squad – so the varsity is a mix of grade levels and the more experienced Cougars were able to easily handle the visitors.

“They’re very young, for sure,” agreed Escalon coach Paul Silva of Hughson, adding that his Cougars also played very well, earning every one of the eight goals they scored. Keeper Ismael Gonzalez made just two saves on the day, but one was an athletic stop in the second half after the ball abruptly changed direction as it bounced its way toward the net.

Getting the scoring started for Escalon was Chris Gallo, back on the field after missing a few games with an injury, connecting with the assist from Guillermo Alvarez just five minutes in to the contest. At the 22:00 mark, Alvarez tallied one unassisted, moving it in and flipping it over the goalie.

Chris Gallo scored his second of the game 28 minutes in, taking the pass from Miguel Mendez and scoring.

“My speech at half-time was just about how we had to work on the things that make us successful,” Silva explained of carrying the momentum into the second half. “We need good passing and movement off the ball, I told them be willing passers, willing movers because we create a lot of mismatches and two on one situations when we move.”

The Cougars definitely kept things moving over the final 40 minutes.

Three minutes into the second half, Jairo Duran made good on a penalty kick shot to give the Cougars a 4-0 lead.

“He had missed one in the first half, he atoned for that earlier miss,” said Silva.

Four minutes later, Chris Gallo completed a hat trick, pumping in his third goal of the day with an assist from David Mancillas.

“I’m not sure who was happier, Chris or Fabricio (older brother) that Chris was back on the field and got three goals,” Silva said of the Gallo siblings.

The younger Gallo’s hat trick equaled the feat achieved by his older brother during a game the previous week, when Fabricio scored three against Mountain House.

At the 56:00 mark of the game, Alvarez scored off a Mancillas assist; Gerardo Magana scored two minutes later on an assist from Fabricio Gallo and Escalon closed out the scoring at the 65:00 mark of the game, Antonio Larios finding the net with the assist from Alvarez.

Silva said the Hughson team played hard throughout, but was just not able to keep up with the older Cougar squad.

He said his team played solid, unselfish soccer, working on set pieces and getting the ball out to the wing as the players in the middle moved in to position for the pass.

This week, it is another one-game week for the varsity squad, as they were scheduled to travel to Hilmar for a contest on Tuesday, Oct. 6 after The Times went to press.