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Soccer Boys Kick It Into High Gear
Kicking off the season with a 2-1 win at Amador, Escalon's varsity soccer boys have stayed busy in the preseason, with games and a tournament appearance already under their belts.

They defeated Amador on Aug. 28, getting both goals in the second half. Lance Reece scored the first, assisted by Armando Becerra, and Osvaldo Ramirez scoring with an assist from Mitchell Guillen on the game winner.

"Amador scored on a penalty kick with a minute to play," head coach Paul Silva pointed out. "The effort was there, our guys played hard for the full 80 minutes."

Hosting Calaveras on Sept. 3, the boys lost a 4-3 decision, with six goals scored in the first half. Guillen put in all three goals for Escalon, getting the hat trick. He scored first with an assist from Joel Vasquez, then had a breakaway two minutes later. He capped the scoring with five minutes left in the first half, off an assist from Efrain Manzo.

Tied 3-3 at the half, Calaveras put in a late goal to take the win.

The team as a whole played somewhat of a low energy game, Silva said, with Guillen providing the spark.

"He didn't start the game but once he got the opportunity, he made the most of it," said the coach.

Bill Cervantes was in goal for the win at Amador and played the first half against Calaveras, then came out and handled the sweeper position in the second half.

"He did a good job stabilizing the defense," Silva noted.

Lino Algandar went in the nets and did a solid job, allowing just the late goal to Calaveras.

That led in to the one day Ripon Christian Tournament on Saturday, with the squad playing three games in triple digit heat.

They started off with a 4-1 win over Venture Academy of Stockton, with goals from Manzo, assist by Vasquez and an own goal, put in by Venture's defense, in the first half. Venture scored to make it 2-1 at the half, Escalon got two more in the second half, Cesar Felix unassisted and Guillen putting in one as well with about two minutes to go in the game.

There were 25-minute halves in the tournament, so each game went 50 minutes. In their second game against Cesar Chavez High School of Stockton, the Cougars earned a shutout win, getting two goals from Felix, both assisted by Reece, in the 2-0 victory.