Temperatures nearing triple digits provided a heated backdrop for an intense game, as Escalon’s number two seed varsity Lady Cougars hosted three seed West Campus of Sacramento in a May 14 soccer semifinal contest.
The host squad fell in a 4-2 final to the eventual Sac-Joaquin Section Division V champions, with West Campus going on to defeat Central Catholic in the final game, 3-0, on May 17.
“We gave them the closest game they played,” Escalon head coach Jamie Peoples said of her team’s battle with West Campus, which came in to the contest as a high-powered offense, often scoring a half dozen goals or more in a game. “I just wanted it so badly for all those girls, I really thought this was our year.”
All four goals for West Campus came on set pieces, one on a corner kick that didn’t get cleared out cleanly by the Lady Cougar defense; two on penalty kicks and one on a free kick in close to the goal.
The game was tied 1-1 at the half with a first half tally for Escalon from AnnaLena Simson, but West Campus punched in three more goals within the first 15 minutes of the second half to take a 4-1 lead. Escalon got one back on a score from Leslie Garcia to trim it to 4-2 but couldn’t get any closer.
Neither of the Escalon goals had assists.
The Lady Cougars ended the season at 13-3-1; taking one loss in preseason, one in league play and one in the postseason.
“They made school history in so many different ways,” Peoples added of her squad. “It was the first year they were outright Trans-Valley League champions, first time we have had two home playoff games, first time we have been that high a seed.”
She also was pleased that her team gave West Campus its hardest fight of the postseason and said the success this season will hopefully fuel the fire.
“We’ve got a lot of good, young talent,” Peoples said, looking forward to next year.