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Soccer Squads Battle Opponents And Weather
Lady Cougar Alondra Martinez, at left, looks to take the angle and cut off the rush of the Amador player during action at home on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Marg Jackson/The Times

Rain moved in during the last half of the past week, making for some tough playing conditions on the soccer pitch. Cold temperatures also made the games a challenge, but the boys squads found themselves with victories while the girls came out on the wrong end of their scores. Following are recaps of each team’s action as the preseason play continues.



With just one game on their schedule, the varsity soccer boys made the most of it, traveling to Bret Harte for a game on Monday, Dec. 12. They came away with a 4-0 victory.

Five minutes in, the Cougars got on the board on a Hector Rodriguez goal with the assist from Denis Pineda. They took a 2-0 lead with just five minutes left in the first half, Chris Gallo scoring off an assist from Jonathan Valeriano, and held the 2-0 advantage over the host Bullfrogs at the half.

“With about 12 minutes left in the game, Guillermo Alvarez scored,” said coach Paul Silva.

The final goal came with about eight minutes left to play, Andrew Benitez tallying the score, assisted by Alvarez.

Splitting the work between two goalies, Luis Mendez had three saves in the first half, Ismael Gonzalez four saves in the second half.

“It was our first time playing on turf, it played a lot faster than our field,” explained Silva. “Our passes were not quite as clean as they normally are and, after the long Ripon Christian Tournament, we had some tired legs. We do have a big squad, so we got everyone playing time.”

Silva said the squad fared well even though they were tired and playing on a much faster surface than they were used to.

“It wasn’t our best performance but it was okay,” Silva said. “It also says something about the team, it was not our best game and we win by four.”

The team was scheduled to play at Calaveras on Tuesday, Dec. 20 after The Times went to press.



Facing off with one of the toughest squads in the region, Escalon’s varsity Lady Cougars had no answer for Amador on Wednesday, Dec. 14. The visitors came in to Escalon and handed the varsity girls a 10-1 defeat, taking a 4-1 lead at the half and continuing to pummel the goal in the second half. A couple of late goals pushed the total to 10 for the visitors. Leticia Gutierrez had six saves for Escalon. Aylin Rodriguez scored Escalon’s lone goal with an assist from Morgan Dominguez.

Thursday, in less than favorable playing conditions, Escalon fell by a 4-1 final to Summerville. Kyleigh Rafferty scored, Natalie Cortes notched the assist. Gutierrez had four saves in goal.



Some high-scoring contests saw the JV Cougar boys coming out on top against Bret Harte and Amador.

They were on the road for the game against Bret Harte to start the week and shut out the host Bullfrogs, 9-0, said coach Polo Rodriguez.

“Jose Mendez had three goals, Gustavo Hernandez had three goals,” Rodriguez noted.

Ross Calderon notched a goal on a penalty kick and Emiliano Ramirez had two goals. Among the players notching assists were Ramirez, Ricky Erazo, Alvaro Plascencia and Manuel Diaz.

In a home game on Wednesday, Dec. 14, it was another shutout victory, this time the JV boys taking down Amador, 3-0.

Ryan Alpicar, Mendez and Plascencia scored the goals and Erazo had an assist.

This week, the team was slated to be on the road for a game at Calaveras on Tuesday, Dec. 20 after The Times went to press.



A pair of shutout losses for Escalon’s JV soccer girls made for a tough week. The squad was on the road Wednesday, Dec. 14, traveling to Amador.

“We lost 8-0,” said coach Jen Schmidt. “Thursday we had a home game against Summerville. We lost 4-0.”

It has been tough for the young squad to find the net so far this season but they continue to work hard in each game. They were scheduled to host Calaveras on Tuesday. Dec. 20 after The Times went to press.