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Ripon nets rare win over Hilmar

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POSTED March 29, 2014 1:01 a.m.

Through the years, the Ripon-Hilmar girls soccer rivalry has been the stuff of legend – tug-o-wars for league championships and dramatic playoff matches.

But ever since Hilmar returned to the Trans-Valley League in 2011, Ripon has felt nothing but the sting of the Yellow Jackets.

On Friday afternoon, the Indians finally turned the tables.

Macy Christian broke a 1-1 tied in the 69th minute and goalies Sam Brooks and Amanda Evans combined for four saves as Ripon pinned a 2-1 loss on its host.

Jessica Carmona also scored for the Indians (3-1-2 TVL, 6-2-3), who trail only unbeaten Escalon (6-0) in the league standings.

“Hilmar had gotten the best of us the last few years,” head coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “To win over there, on their field, it was a big win, especially coming off a couple of ties.”

It couldn’t have come at a better time, too.

The Indians won’t play again until Friday, when they open the second-round of the league season at Escalon for a 4 o’clock tilt.

Ripon was missing three starters the last time they played, a 3-2 loss on March 12 in Ripon. This time around, DeBruyn says the Indians have no excuses. They’re playing well and they’re as healthy as they’ve been all season.

“I thought we played them pretty well that first game,” DeBruyn said. “So I’m liking our chances, especially having a week to prepare for them. Hopefully, we can take this one and keep it going.”

Ripon started the snowball on Friday with a relentless attack that benefitted from a lineup change.

DeBruyn moved Zaire Davis into an attacking position and pushed Jordyn Wall outside, stabilizing the midfield while giving the Indians additional speed on the flanks.

It resulted in a flurry of shots. Ripon pelted Hilmar goalie Rebecca Sanders (10 saves) with 15 shots on frame.

Carmona struck first with a blast in the eighth minute off a feed from Sarah Alves. The Yellow Jackets tied it in the 25th minute on a goal by Kinsey Pettigrew.

Despite its number of shots on goal – the Indians’ attempted 21 in all – DeBruyn wondered if Ripon’s season-long finishing woes would cost them another victory.

The Indians have been shut out or limited to one goal seven times this season, including four 1-1 ties.

Christian removed all fear with 11 minutes left in the match, punching home a deflection off a free kick. Gia Helppie sent in the cross, which was redirected to Christian by Hailey Monroe.

“It was a relief watching that net ripple in the back,” DeBruyn said. “… We haven’t been able to get that second one in, so for me, it was a big sigh of relief. We finally got that go-ahead goal.”

Valley Oak League

Manteca 2, Sonora 1

The Buffaloes (3-0-1, 11-1-1) out-possessed the host side but did just enough go away victorious.

Lean Manuleleua and Lejla Pepic scored Manteca’s goals. Sonora (1-4, 2-8) tied it at 1-1 off set piece in the opening minutes of the second half. Pepic later banged in the go-ahead goal on a penalty kick.

Alyssa Burch finished with six saves at goal for Manteca.

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