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Soccer Boys Win, Girls Tie In Games Against Hilmar
Varsity goalie Leticia Gutierrez clears the ball in home action earlier this season. The Lady Cougars battled league-leading Hilmar to a 0-0 tie on the road on Jan. 23. Marg Jackson/The Times

After falling behind in the first half, Escalon’s varsity soccer boys scored four unanswered goals in the second half to take a 4-1 victory off the field against Hilmar. The contest on Monday, Jan. 23 was Escalon’s only game of the week, their Trans-Valley league bye coming on Wednesday.

“We conceded a goal in the first half, early on and it was 1-0 at halftime,” said coach Paul Silva. “Then in the second half were scored four goals, unanswered.”

Guillermo Alvarez had a goal and an assist, Hector Rodriguez had a goal and an assist and Andrew Benitez had two goals and one assist.

“Guillermo scored our first goal about five minutes into the second half to tie it,” explained Silva. “Andrew scored a couple of minutes later.”

About midway through the second half, Rodriguez netted the third goal and Benitez tallied the final goal with about five minutes to go in the contest.

“It was a real nice play, Andrew connected on a header assisted by Guillermo,” Silva said. “Andrew took it around a couple of defenders, outletted it to Guillermo who crossed it in from the corner, Andrew was in perfect position to head it in.”

Escalon keeper Luis Mendez made six saves. The Cougars had to adapt a bit, as Hilmar played a tough, packed in defense early on, forcing the home team into a different style of play.

“They are a good team,” Silva said of the Yellowjackets.

The team remained undefeated in league play following the home game with Hilmar, rebounding from a slow start with the four goal outburst over the second half. They also played on the JV field, as the varsity pitch was still muddy from the recent rains and the Hilmar coach did not want his players taking that field.

The Cougars will be home for a pair of games this week after first traveling to Riverbank. The game with the Bruins was scheduled for Monday, Jan. 30, after The Times went to press, and they are scheduled to host Ripon on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and return to the pitch on Thursday, Feb. 2, hosting Mountain House.



Playing on the road this past week, the varsity Lady Cougars battled their way to a 0-0 tie with league-leading Hilmar on Jan. 23.

“That was the first place undefeated team and we played amazingly,” said head coach Jamie Peoples. “I was very proud of the team. They battled hard.”

Leticia Gutierrez made six saves in goal to help secure the draw.

“That tie was like a win for us,” Peoples admitted.

That was the only action for the girls on the pitch, as they had their league bye on Wednesday. They were scheduled to take on Riverbank on Monday, Jan. 30 after The Times went to press, then go on the road for a game at Ripon on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and at Mountain House on Thursday, Feb. 2.



Up 4-0 at halftime, the final score was 7-0 Escalon as the JV boys were winners at home on Monday, Jan. 23. They hosted and shut out Hilmar, with several players figuring in to the scoring.

“We played on the varsity field, it was very muddy,” noted coach Polo Rodriguez.

The varsity team utilized the JV field, which was not in as bad a shape from the recent wet weather.

Scoring for Escalon were Jose Mendez, Ricky Erazo and Emiliano Ramirez with two goals apiece, Gustavo Hernandez tallying one goal. Notching assists on the day were Hernandez with two and Ryan Alpizar with one.

“Goalie Clay Evans had two saves,” Rodriguez said.

Coming up, the boys are slated to host Ripon on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and then welcome Mountain House on Thursday, Feb. 2.



With just one game on the schedule this week, the young Lady Cougars tied with Hilmar on the road, 1-1.

“Leticia Delgado scored our goal with an assist from Mariana Guerrero,” said coach Jen Schmidt.

The JV squad will be back in action on the road this week, playing at Ripon on Wednesday, Feb. 1.