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Soccer Boys Suit Up For Trio Of Varsity Contests
Escalon’s Moises Grajeda, 11, takes the ball and makes a run toward down the field during Wednesday afternoon home action against Hughson; he had the assist on a goal by Alexis Rodriguez in a 1-0 Cougar win. Marg Jackson/The Times

A busy week on the soccer pitch saw Escalon’s varsity boys win two out of three Trans-Valley League contests.

The boys were at Modesto Christian on Tuesday, Jan. 14 and won by a 4-0 decision.

Alexis Rodriguez had a goal off an assist from Richard Erazo in the first half for an early 1-0 lead, then the Cougars scored three unanswered goals in the second half to seal the win.

Gabriel Romero, Christopher Borrego and Emiliano Ramirez had the second half goals with assists from Ramirez, Rodriguez and Josh Corrales. Keeper Brayan Barrientos had three saves in 60 minutes of play; Juan Rodriguez came in for the final 20 minutes and had two saves.

Wednesday against Hughson, playing in Escalon, the boys prevailed in a tightly contested 1-0 decision.

“It was 0-0 at the half,” said head coach Paul Silva. “About six minutes into the second half, Alexis Rodriguez got the goal on an assist from Moises Grajeda, it was a nice play, a bit of a give and go.”

Silva said Grajeda was able to finish the play off with a crossing pass right to the foot of Rodriguez, who sent it past the keeper into the net.

Barrientos had six saves in goal for the Cougars.

“Friday we were at Hilmar and we lost 6-0,” Silva said. “They’re a really good team; it was 2-0 at the half but whatever mistakes we made, they capitalized.”

Barrientos did everything he could, stopping nine shots, but the Hilmar offense pummeled the goal throughout the game.

Thursday, Jan. 23 the boys will travel to Riverbank for a pivotal TVL game, as both teams are looking for another win and the edge in securing a playoff spot.



The JV team had just one game this past week but have played three TVL contests so far, winning two and losing one.

They lost to Hilmar by a 2-0 decision on the road Friday, Jan. 17.

“We conceded two goals in the first half,” said coach Polo Rodriguez. “We had a lot of shots, probably 10, we hit three posts but nothing went in.”

Goalkeeper Aldo Yepiz had seven saves for the game in his strongest outing of the season so far.

“There were a lot of one on ones and he was still able to get a hand on it,” said Rodriguez.

Earlier action for the JV boys saw them defeat Ripon by a 4-3 decision on Jan. 7.

Goals came from Miguel Granados, getting the hat trick, and one goal from the Ripon defense on an own goal. Vicente Gonzalez and Josiah Cortes each had an assist, Yepiz made four saves.

A 5-2 win over Livingston for the JV squad on Jan. 9 saw three goals from Andres Beltran and single tallies from Jiovani Betancourt and Granados. Betancourt also had an assist; Granados had two helpers and Yepiz had four saves.

The team will be on the road Thursday, Jan. 23 for an afternoon game at Riverbank.

Looking to keep control of the ball along the sideline, Cougar Christopher Borrego, 14, works against his Hughson opponent in a Trans-Valley League game on Jan. 15. Marg Jackson/The Times