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Soccer Squad Posts Shutout Win At Riverbank
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Taking a shutout win off the field Tuesday against Riverbank, the Cougar soccer team went into Patterson with high hopes on Thursday.

But the tough Tigers battled Escalon to a tie, 2-2.

"You can't be upset about going to Patterson and working out a 2-2 tie," coach Chris Oliveira admitted. "They are 11-1-1 so I can't get down on my players. We're not big on moral victories, though, we went for the win."

The week started with the soccer squad looking forward to the chance to make the playoffs with a strong second half run but only two Trans-Valley League teams will advance this year and the Cougars had too slow a start to make up enough ground.

Still, they played solidly on the road at Riverbank on Tuesday, winning that game by a 3-0 decision.

"Our guys are feeling pretty good about the way we've been playing," said Oliveira. "We didn't play well in the first half of the season, we're making amends for that here in the second half."

Derek Castro tallied a goal against Riverbank on Tuesday, while Sergio Torres notched one with an assist from Brian Beeman. Beeman later scored a goal on a penalty kick for the 3-0 final.

"Brian's getting a lot of assists this year," said Oliveira, noting that he was pleased the senior also scored in this contest.

"I thought it was real similar to the Ripon Christian game, the way we played," Oliveira added. "It was very workmanlike, I know that Riverbank is talented. We didn't play spectacular but we played well enough to win, that's a testament to the way we're playing."

Julio Farias had four saves in goal in the first half for the Cougars, but had to come out after being injured in a scuffle in front of the net. Peter Krumeich went in for the second half and made one save.

At Patterson on Thursday, the squad battled to the tie with a first half goal from Torres, the assist by Beeman and a second half goal from Beeman, the assist by Torres.

"Julio made a bunch of saves for us, Patterson's first goal came on a penalty kick," Oliveira said of his young keeper, back in action. "It was lights out again, in the last seven games, we've allowed only four goals."

The Cougars ended the week with a 7-4-2 mark in Trans-Valley League play, fourth place overall behind Patterson, Livingston and Hilmar. Though they won't continue on to playoffs, Oliveira said he has been extremely pleased with the second half effort from the squad, coming on strong to post several wins.

Defensively, the squad has quietly been led by Alejandro Patino, keying the attack.

"He goes unnoticed but he's been a rock for us on defense," Oliveira explained. "It's real quiet, but our sweeper has just had an awesome year for us."

The Cougars were slated to close out their season on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at Hilmar.

For the JV team, only one game was on the schedule this week, with no Riverbank squad at the JV level. The Cougars traveled to Patterson with their older counterparts and lost a 1-0 decision there, said Oliveira.

"They hung tough, stayed with them for the whole game," he said.