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Hawks fly high in win over Escalon
Delhi soccer pic1
Erick Aguilar, 19, dribbles the ball toward the goal as Cougar players surround him in Thursday action at Escalon. Looking on is teammate Edgar Villegas, 22. - photo by MARG JACKSON/The Journal

A goal in the first half and two more in the second paved Delhi’s way into the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section soccer playoffs, ousting number two seed and host Escalon 3-0 on Thursday.

The Hawks traveled well for the Division V first round contest, bringing a large contingent of vocal fans, waving banners and signs, and the school mascot made the trip to Escalon as well.

“I know we have good players,” head coach Armando Salazar said following the contest. “They like to play as individuals sometimes but today they played as a team and it showed.”

Coming in as the third place team in the Southern League (9-4-1) behind Orestimba and Gustine, Salazar said the unselfish play made the difference, as well as some tough defense.

Keeper Joel Fuentes was solid in goal, turning away multiple Escalon shots, while another great save came from Alexander Picazo. During a second half scramble in front of the goal mouth with Escalon applying the pressure, a ball slipped past Fuentes but Picazo was there and swept it out just before it crossed the line.

Delhi’s first half goal came from Andrew Vazquez with an assist from Martin Bravo. Second half scoring came on a pair of unassisted tallies, from Alejandro Contreras and Arturo Martinez. The final tally came with about 10 minutes left in the game, sealing the win for the Hawks.

“We played our game,” Salazar said of sticking to the plan and frustrating the host and Trans-Valley League champion Cougars.

The Hawks will move on to play Wednesday at Summerville in a 6:30 p.m. contest. Summerville, the number 3 seed, went to penalty kicks on Thursday to oust sixth seeded Riverbank, 6-5. The teams tied in regulation and two 10-minute OT periods, 2-2.

On the other side of the bracket, top seeded Linden and No. 4 Orestimba face off on Wednesday. Winners of the Nov. 11 contests move on to battle for the Section V title Nov. 14 at Stagg High School.