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Split Of League Contests For Varsity Soccer Boys
16 soccer
Senior midfielder CJ Borrego, 16, takes the angle as he moves in toward the Ripon player trying to corral the ball in Thursday afternoon action on the pitch. Host Escalon prevailed in a 5-4 final; Borrego had three goals and two assists. Marg Jackson/The Times

Taking a 4-3 loss on Tuesday, the Escalon varsity soccer boys came back to the pitch on Thursday and crafted a 5-4 victory.

They lost to Oakdale at home in the May 4 contest and then defeated Ripon on May 6.

“We were up 2-1 at halftime,” varsity head coach Paul Silva said of hosting Oakdale on May 4.

The visiting Mustangs scored a goal five minutes in but about five minutes later, sophomore Alejandro Rodriguez notched the score for Escalon, with Luis Flores assisting on the goal.

Flores converted on a penalty kick midway through the first half, putting Escalon up 2-1.

In the second half, though, Oakdale put in three unanswered goals to go up 4-2.

“With about nine minutes left, we scored, Ulises Garcia got the goal with the assist from Matthew Baptista,” Silva said.

But that was as close as the Cougars could get, taking the loss. Brayan Barrientos had eight saves in goal on the day.

Thursday, they welcomed traditional Trans-Valley League rival Ripon to town and the back and forth game ultimately saw the host Cougars come away with the 5-4 victory.

Nine minutes in, Garcia got the goal with an assist from CJ Borrego, then Borrego scored on a Joshua Corrales assist at the 20-minute mark. Ripon cut it to 2-1 about 34 minutes in, Borrego made it 3-1 just two minutes later, scoring with an assist from Andres Beltran.

“Just before halftime, Ripon scored to make it 3-2,” Silva said.

Eight minutes in to the second half, it was a tie game, as Ripon tallied to knot the score at 3-3. A penalty kick for Escalon midway through the half was converted by Borrego, making it 4-3 Escalon.

“With about eight minutes left in the game, Matthew Baptista scored a goal with the assist from CJ and that made it 5-3,” said Silva.

But Ripon wasn’t done, as they got another goal three minutes later, again making it a one goal game, 5-4.

That would be the end of the scoring, though, with the host Cougars hanging on for the win. Barrientos had seven saves.

“We had five goals and CJ had a hand in all of them,” noted Silva. “He scored three and assisted on two.”

Silva said for most contests, the JV and varsity teams play as one, as there are only JV teams for East Union and Weston Ranch in the Valley Oak League.

“We’re essentially one team,” he explained. “We might still get a couple of JV games with Weston Ranch.”

The team is away this week; they were to be at Central Catholic on May 11 and travel to face off with Manteca on May 13.

Focused on the ball, Escalon’s Matthew Baptista, 17, a sophomore midfielder, pulls away from the Ripon players trying to catch him as he makes his way up the sideline during Thursday’s home game on May 6. Marg Jackson/The Times