A 5-2 win and a 2-1 loss went on the books this past week for Escalon’s varsity soccer boys, as they defeated Hughson but lost to rival Hilmar.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, Escalon trailed by a 2-1 score to the Huskies at halftime but then put the game away with a strong second half.
“That second half was probably the nest soccer we have played all year,” said head coach Paul Silva.
In the first half, Hughson took a quick 2-0 lead before Escalon got one goal back, Jonathan Valeriano dishing out the assist to Guillermo Alvarez.
“In the second half, we scored within the first 30 seconds,” Silva added of tying up the game with a goal from Emiliano Ramirez, assisted by Alvarez.
Gabriel Romero then put the Cougars in front a few minutes later, scoring off a rebound of a shot, and it was Alvarez making it 4-2, again with the assist going to Valeriano.
“With about 10 minutes left in the game, Moises Grajeda got a goal, with the assist from Guillermo, to make it 5-2,” Silva said.
Oscar Gonzalez was in goal for Escalon and had six saves.
Thursday, the Cougars were home to host Hilmar and the Yellowjackets came in on a mission, scoring early in the game on a corner kick to make it 1-0.
Escalon could not find the net in the first half, though there were some scoring opportunities.
About 15 minutes into the second half, Hilmar made it a 2-0 advantage, this time on a big scramble in front of the goal, the visitors finding a way to punch it through.
Escalon would not go away quietly, continuing to work the ball toward the Hilmar net and their efforts were finally rewarded when Alvarez went in on a breakaway. He took the pass from Jose Mendez and beat the keeper one on one, putting Escalon on the scoreboard with about seven minutes to go in the game.
Though they continued to push, the Cougars could not get the equalizer and took the 2-1 loss, dropping to a record of 3-2 in Trans-Valley League play. Gonzalez had seven saves in goal.
For the junior varsity Cougars, with coach Polo Rodriguez back at the helm, they scored early and often against Hughson, blasting their way to a 9-0 victory and then they battled Hilmar to a 2-2 tie on Thursday.
This week the squads are scheduled to host Riverbank on Wednesday, Jan. 16 and Ripon on Friday, Jan. 18 with each game set for a 3:30 p.m. start.