Two league games, two wins.
Escalon’s varsity soccer boys kept their Trans-Valley League title hopes alive with a pair of victories this week, winning 2-0 over Riverbank and 3-1 against Ripon.
Hosting Riverbank on Tuesday, Oct. 13, Escalon scored one goal in each half and had several chances on the afternoon.
“It took us a while to get that first goal,” explained coach Paul Silva. “At 31 minutes in, Guillermo Alvarez scored unassisted on a breakaway.”
In the second half, Alvarez found the net again, about 10 minutes in, with Carlos Cruz getting the assist on a nice pass to set up the score. Cougar netminder Ismael Gonzalez had six saves.
“We had a lot of opportunities to score goals,” added Silva. “I counted probably at least eight one-on-one chances with the goalie and he thwarted a lot of potential goals.”
On the road for a Thursday game at Ripon on Oct. 15, Escalon took a 2-1 lead into the break and finally punched through one more late score in the second half to seal the victory, 3-1.
“Chris Gallo had the hat trick,” Silva explained. “He was injured for a while and was out but since he has been back, he has been finishing his opportunities, he’s always moving and creating chances.”
The first Gallo goal came 18 minutes in, assisted by Damien Parocua. Ripon tied it up 10 minutes later but Escalon took the lead 38 minutes in to the contest, Gallo converting on a breakaway just before the end of the first half.
“In the second half, we played really well, we were getting opportunities and moving the ball well, we just couldn’t get that third goal,” Silva said.
Almost waiting for the Indians to tie the score, Silva noted his team kept pushing, kept creating chances.
“Finally, with about seven minutes left, we got the third,” said Silva.
Jairo Duran sent the ball in and Gallo connected on a header that found the back of the net. Gonzalez had six saves for the Cougars.
Escalon was slated to travel to Mountain House on Tuesday, Oct. 20 after The Times went to press. That will be their only game this week, with final league games scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Hughson and Thursday, Oct. 29 at home hosting Hilmar.
Taking a 4-3 win at home against Riverbank on Tuesday, the JV soccer boys then traveled for their Thursday match at Ripon. A 4-0 shutout there clinched the Trans-Valley League title for the team, playing solidly under first year head coach Polo Rodriguez.