Two games for Escalon’s varsity soccer boys saw the squad get two more wins and claim the Trans-Valley League title in the process.
They hosted Modesto Christian on Monday, Feb. 5 and walked off with a 9-0 shutout, leading 3-0 at half and really coming on strong in the second half of play against the Crusaders.
Guillermo Alvarez had three goals and two assists on the day to lead the team, while Nolan Rockwell also had a solid effort, two goals and two assists.
“I’ve been able to move him up, more of a right wing position where he has more opportunities to score and he is really taking advantage of that,” said head coach Paul Silva.
Armando Gonzalez had two goals and an assist, Nick DeWeerd and Naul Melendez each had a goal. Assists were provided by Emanuel Romero, Jonathan Valeriano and Daniel Galvan.
“Oscar Gonzalez was in goal in the first half and he had one save, Albaro Plascencia played the second half and he had one save,” Silva said.
Wednesday at Hughson, the varsity squad clinched the Trans-Valley League title outright with a satisfying 8-1 win over the host Huskies.
“The first time we played them, we won 6-4 and it was a pretty competitive game,” explained Silva, noting that his team was prepared for a battle, anticipating Hughson would come out strong and try to keep them from securing the title.
“They were pumped up to play,” Silva said of the Cougars.
Hughson, however, didn’t provide as much of a fight as they were anticipating.
“We played pretty well, it was 5-0 at half,” Silva said. “It was a very wide open game, though, they had opportunities … Oscar made six saves in goal.”
Key to the big win, added the coach, was the fact that Hughson pushed several players up the field and Escalon was able to take advantage of that when they got the ball, rushing down the field with the Huskies defense scrambling to get back.
“We were able to make them pay,” noted Silva.
Alvarez had five goals and one assist; Hector Rodriguez had two goals, DeWeerd added one goal. Assists came from Denis Pineda, Rockwell and Melendez.
The varsity squad was scheduled to close out the regular season with a road game at Hilmar on Monday, Feb. 12 after The Times went to press.
They entered the season finale with a 10-1 mark in league play and will start playoffs – place and opponent to be determined – on Tuesday, Feb. 20 for a first round game.
With just one game on their schedule this past week, the JV Cougar boys crafted a 5-1 win on the road Wednesday, Feb. 7 at Hughson.
“Gustavo Hernandez had a first half goal for us,” said head coach Polo Rodriguez. “It was tied 1-1 at the half.”
The second half is where the young Cougars took control, putting in four unanswered goals over that 40-minute span.
Notching the scores were Moises Grajeda, Ricky Erazo and Miguel Aranda, each with a goal; C.J. Borrego had a goal and an assist and Gabriel Romero added an assist.
Goalie Clay Evans had four saves on the day.
The boys were scheduled to close out the season with a road game at Hilmar on Monday, Feb. 12 after The Times went to press.