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Tough Campaigns Continue For Varsity, JV Soccer
Second half action of the Trans-Valley League soccer season started on a tough note for Escalon, as they lost a 3-0 decision to Riverbank on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

"It was 1-0 at halftime and then Riverbank scored two goals within the last three minutes of the game," explained coach Paul Silva. "We had a number of opportunities, we just couldn't finish and their goalie made some great saves."

Despite the loss, Silva was pleased with how tough his team was, and how they fought the lead-leading Bruins.

"We definitely made a game of it," he said, adding that they have also shown significant improvement from the first time they played the Bruins.

Jordan Hall had nine saves in goal for the Cougars.

"He had a few amazing stops," said Silva.

Escalon had five shots on goal in the game.

Coming back on Thursday, they hosted Ripon and lost a 1-0 contest, not able to equalize an early Indian goal.

"It wasn't a very good game," said Silva.

The progress his team showed against Riverbank seemed to evaporate against Ripon.

"We didn't give our best effort," he agreed. "On a different day..."

Escalon did not create enough scoring opportunities in a game that Silva feels they could have won.

"We didn't make them work," he said of their opponents. "Their defense is not quick but very big."

The Cougars couldn't get anything past them, though, and took the shutout loss.

They will be on the road at Hughson on Thursday, Oct. 20 to continue the league campaign.

Junior Varsity

Playing Riverbank on Tuesday, it was a 7-0 loss for the young Cougars.

"It was pretty expected as they had already beaten us earlier this year and I actually changed my lineup to get ready for the Ripon game, which left us exposed defensively," noted coach Chris Oliveira. "I thought it was worth it to get our goalie (Dervin Murphy) some time up front in anticipation of Ripon. I truly feel like the score getting out of hand had more to do with my lineup than it did with the way we played."

The strategy worked to a point, though, as the JV team tied Ripon in the Thursday game, 1-1, and Murphy had the goal, on an assist from Carlos Murguia.

"James Gutierrez played in goal and made some huge saves to keep us in the game," Oliveira said. "We had our best defensive team effort as well. It seems like it's starting to click for some of the guys."

The squad was slated to play Orestimba on Tuesday, after The Times went to press and will be at Hughson on Thursday.

"I can't say enough about how proud I am of these guys," Oliveira said. "There is not one ounce of quit in them. It would have been so easy for them to have packed it in after Ripon scored the first goal as our record was 0-16-1 at that point. However, they never got down and kept going forward."