TVL Cham­pi­onship For Var­sity Soc­cer Boys

Escalon Times - - SPORTS - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­

Thir­teen goals spread out over two games added up to a pair of wins for the Escalon var­sity Cougar soc­cer boys, and they clinched the Trans-Val­ley League cham­pi­onship in the process.

On Mon­day, Feb. 6 the boys were on the road to face Modesto Chris­tian, com­ing away with an 8-0 vic­tory.

“It was 5-0 at half­time,” said coach Paul Silva. “It was a pretty straight­for­ward game, our pass­ing was crisp and our move­ment off the ball was good.”

An­drew Benitez had the hat trick, notch­ing three goals to go along with one as­sist. Guillermo Al­varez had two goals and one as­sist, De­nis Pineda chipped in with three as­sists.

“He re­ally con­trolled the mid­field,” Silva said of Pineda.

Erik Paez added a goal, Hec­tor Ro­driguez had a goal.

“Luis Men­dez played about 60 min­utes in goal and had three saves, Is­mael Gon­za­lez played 20 min­utes and had one save,” added the coach.

Wed­nes­day at home, the var­sity squad han­dled Hugh­son in a 5-0 con­test, which clinched the TVL cham­pi­onship, the Cougar boys re­peat­ing as cham­pi­ons. It was also the fi­nal reg­u­lar sea­son home game for 11 se­niors.

“We keep it kind of low key,” Silva said of not hav­ing any spe­cial recog­ni­tion for the se­niors prior to the game. “I make sure to get them all play­ing time, though.”

It took un­til mid­way through the first half for the Cougars to get on the board, Al­varez putting the first goal of the day in the net at the 20:00 mark, as­sisted by Chris Gallo. Five min­utes later, Ro­driguez scored with an as­sist from Al­varez and at the 34:00 mark, Al­varez notched his sec­ond goal of the game, unas­sisted.

“In the sec­ond half, about 60 min­utes into the game, Guillermo got his third goal, com­plet­ing the hat trick, with an as­sist from An­drew Benitez,” Silva ex­plained. “Then with about two min­utes left in the game, An­drew Benitez scored with an as­sist from Hec­tor Ro­driguez.”

That made it a 5-0 fi­nal, with each goal­tender mind­ing the net for a half. Men­dez had three first half saves, Gon­za­lez had three sec­ond half saves.

“We knew that if we won we would be TVL champs,” said Silva. “The ef­fort was good, we played re­ally well and I am very pleased with the type of soc­cer they’re play­ing right now.”

The team is work­ing to­gether ef­fi­ciently and play­ing self­less soc­cer, the coach noted, with ev­ery­one get­ting in­volved in the at­tack.

“We lead the sec­tion in scor­ing,” Silva said.

With one fi­nal TVL game re­main­ing, the boys were sched­uled to be at Hil­mar for a Mon­day, Feb. 13 con­test, af­ter The Times went to press. They went in to that game with a 10-0-1 record in league, the only blem­ish a 3-3 tie with Ripon. Over­all, they are 170-2, the other tie com­ing in their first con­test of the sea­son, a tie with Lin­den.

“The first day of prac­tice, I asked the guys what they wanted out of this sea­son,” Silva re­mem­bered. “They said they wanted to be TVL champs, they wanted to de­fend their ti­tle. I’m proud of the work they did to ac­com­plish that.”

Play­off ac­tion will start next week; the Cougars likely will have a home game on Tues­day, Feb. 21 but that won’t be cer­tain un­til the play­off seed­ing meet­ings later this week.


Just one game this past week for Escalon’s young JV Cougars, as they hosted and de­feated Hugh­son in Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon ac­tion. Be­tween rain­drops, the JV squad poured 10 goals into the net and al­lowed only a hand­ful of shots to the vis­i­tors, tak­ing a 10-0 vic­tory off the field.

Four goals in the first half and six more in the sec­ond pro­vided the mar­gin of vic­tory, as the boys were not chal­lenged much by the vis­it­ing Huskies.

Al­varo Plas­cen­cia, Al­varo Sanchez, Ryan Alpizar and Emil­iano Ramirez found the net in the first half; Plas­cen­cia and Ramirez each added another score in the sec­ond half. Ricky Erazo had two sec­ond half goals, Moises Gra­jeda and Miguel Calderon had one each. Notch­ing as­sists on the day were Ramirez, Erazo, Alpizar and Jonathan Yepez.

“They only got about four shots on goal,” JV head coach Polo Ro­driguez said of Hugh­son.

The JV Cougars im­proved to 7-2 in league with the Wed­nes­day win, and are 14-1-4 over­all. They were sched­uled to play their fi­nal game on Mon­day, Feb. 13 at Hil­mar af­ter The Times went to press. Their two losses in league en­ter­ing the fi­nal game both came to ri­val River­bank.


Two close games were both losses for Escalon’s var­sity soc­cer girls dur­ing the past week. They took a 2-1 loss to Modesto Chris­tian on Mon­day, Feb. 6 with Ma­cie Chase scor­ing the goal with an as­sist from Mya Beary. Leti­cia Gu­tier­rez had three saves.

In a Wed­nes­day road game, Feb. 8, the girls lost to Hugh­son by a 6-2 fi­nal. Madi­son Kind­berg scored a goal off a free kick for the var­sity squad, while Mor­gan Dominguez added the other tally and Alon­dra Martinez picked up an as­sist. Gu­tier­rez and Lily Franks split time in goal, each mak­ing three saves.

The JV girls did not have any games this past week, but both squads were sched­uled to close out their sea­son at home on Mon­day, Feb. 12 af­ter The Times went to press. They were to host Hil­mar and the var­sity team also planned to sa­lute its two se­niors, Lexi Wheeler and An­gel­ica Fer­nan­dez.


Cap­tain Chris Gallo, left, con­grat­u­lates fel­low cap­tain Guillermo Al­varez af­ter Al­varez scored a goal in re­cent Trans-Val­ley League play on the home field. Escalon clinched the TVL ti­tle with a win over Hugh­son on Feb. 8.

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