A very busy week saw the varsity soccer boys suit up for five games, with one game at home and four in tournament play.
The Cougars hosted Amador on Dec. 4, taking a 5-2 victory.
“Guillermo Alvarez had four goals, three of them in play and one on a penalty kick,” said head coach Paul Silva. “Denis Pineda had one goal on a free kick.”
Visiting Amador had a pair of goals on penalty kicks, one coming in each half. Keeper Clay Evans made five saves on the afternoon.
Then it was on to the Gregori Tournament, with the squad playing two games on Friday, Dec. 7. They defeated Downey 2-1 to open the tourney, Alvarez notching both Cougar goals. He got the first with an assist from Jose Mendez, but Downey came right back to tie the score 1-1 on a free kick. Alvarez gave Escalon the lead back with the assist from Jonathan Valeriano and the 2-1 score held up for the rest of the contest.
Game two on Friday was against Beyer and it was a 2-0 win for Escalon. Alvarez scored off the assist from Valeriano to get the Cougars on the board, then Pineda found the net on a free kick for the two-goal lead.
On Saturday, the squad faced Gregori and lost by a 1-0 final.
“It was a very sloppy field and we didn’t play very well at all,” Silva said.
But the Cougars did win their group in the tournament and ended up facing off against Gregori again on Saturday afternoon in the championship game.
“This time we lost 2-0 but we played really well,” said the coach. “We gave up a free kick just before halftime and the guys were kind of down, Gregori came right back and scored another just before the whistle.”
Playing from behind throughout the second half, Silva said his team did have plenty of chances to score but had shots hit the post, go just wide, basically everywhere but the net.
Even though they couldn’t break through, the varsity boys did earn second place at the tournament.
“It was a good experience, playing against the Modesto schools,” Silva noted.
Silva was able to coach the JV squad at the tournament as well; the young Cougars going 1-1-1.
They first matched up against Hughson and won that game 3-0, with a pair of goals from C.J. Borrego and one from Jiovani Betancourt.
“Saturday we lost to Johansen 1-0, we hit the post a couple of times but couldn’t get the ball in the net,” Silva said. “The second game Saturday was against Downey and it ended in a 0-0 tie. Again we had so many opportunities, we just couldn’t finish.”
That will be something for the team to work on in practice, the coach noted of follow through and finishing.
“Overall, I thought they had a good showing for themselves,” he said.
Both the JV and varsity Cougars are scheduled to play at Summerville on Thursday, Dec. 13.