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Soccer Girls Top Tigers, Fall To Huskies
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Still working without a full squad - some out with injuries and slowly on the mend - Escalon's Lady Cougars split their soccer games on the field this week, suffering their first Trans-Valley League loss.

They remain solidly in second place at 4-1, trailing only Hughson, which improved to 5-0 with the Friday win over Escalon.

Kicking off the week with an easy victory, the varsity Lady Cougars hosted Patterson on March 31 and took a 7-0 decision from the Tigers.

"It was 6-0 at the half so we kind of backed off in the second half," said coach Craig Humrichouse.

Three goals came from Christina Balcita, two from Cherie Homen and one each from Kaity Bojorquez and Kacey Ball. Notching assists were London Crooker, Aprille Ray, Tiana Garcia, Homen and Lindsay Richards.

"It was a good game for us," noted Humrichouse. "Patterson is a bit of a weaker team."

Natalie Gallego had three saves in goal for Escalon, shutting out the visitors.

"Aprille Ray stepped back and played sweeper and did a real good job for us back there," added Humrichouse. "It was an all-around team effort, we just dominated the match."

On the road Friday for a game at Hughson, the varsity girls were shut out, 2-0.

"We kind of stumbled and lost that one," Humrichouse said. "We were just down too many players, we had only 12 suited up."

Hughson is also a very solid team, the Escalon coach noted, and wore down his Lady Cougars.

"Their first goal came off a missed play by us, they took advantage of it," Humrichouse said of failing to clear the ball. "The second goal was on another missed play, this time we scored it for them."

Gallego did make four saves in goal but her teammates couldn't get any shots past the Hughson keeper.

"They have a real small field over there," Humrichouse added. "We're used to having a larger field to work with but it was a closely played game."

Hughson had a 1-0 lead at the half, the second tally came late in the contest to put it away.

The girls will play two more league games this week before taking a break over the spring holiday.

"We'll continue to practice, just not go as hard," Humrichouse said.

The JV girls, meanwhile, were scheduled to play Friday at Hughson but the game was canceled when no officials showed up.

This week, both the JV and varsity are scheduled to play at Ripon on Wednesday, April 7 and then host Livingston on Friday, April 9. Both games begin at 4 p.m.