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‘Dead legs’ come alive for Knights

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‘Dead legs’ come alive for Knights

Adri Van Groningen, standing in the middle of the Ripon Christian wall, anticipates the free kick from Waterford’s Brooke Hill.


POSTED April 3, 2014 12:43 a.m.

RIPON — Ripon Christian appears to have fully recovered from what head coach Kevin Tameling called “dead legs.”

Coming off a taxing four-match week capped off by a disappointing loss, the Knights thoroughly dominated Waterford en route to a 5-0 win Wednesday.

Mariposa remains the lone unbeaten team in the Southern League after topping both Waterford (5-2, 7-6 overall) and Ripon Christian with one-goal wins last week. Freshman Abby Buitrago said the Knights (6-1, 10-2-1) couldn’t wait to get back on the pitch following the 3-2 defeat at Mariposa.

“We wanted to show that we could play better than we did up in Mariposa,” Buitrago said following her three-goal effort Wednesday. “We played four games that week and were coming off spring break, so we had tired legs. It’s also a long trip to Mariposa. We hope to beat them the next time we play them.”

Tameling added that his team was fortunate to be tied 1-1 at halftime against Mariposa (7-0, 9-1-1), which won it on a late goal off a corner kick. He felt that his team was outplayed, especially in the first half, last Friday but did well to give itself a chance to escape with a tie.

“We had some dead legs and you can call it an off game for us, but Mariposa is a good team — I give credit to them,” Tameling said. “They came out ready to play, did what they needed to do and probably had control for most of the game.”

He and the Knights prepared for Wednesday’s showdown of second-place clubs expecting an all-out battle.

It wasn’t.

This time it was Ripon Christian in full control from the opening kickoff. Waterford could only muster two shot attempts all game.

Alex Erdelatz scored in the eighth minute off a nice feed from Teagan Manus. In the 24th, Buitrago began her bid for the hat trick with a head shot set up by Manus, whose initial attempt deflected high off the crossbar.

The score stood at 2-0 at halftime, but the margin could have been much wider. Both Buitrago and Manus had several breakaway opportunities that would have iced it much earlier had they cashed in.

Buitrago scored in the 46th and 70th minutes, and Manus added a goal in the 57th. Jessica Van Vliet and Erdelatz each had second-half assists.

It wasn’t the way Tameling expected the game to play out after his team edged out the Wildcats 1-0 in the last of four games in the Big Valley Christian Tournament on March 8. Then again, they were different teams a month ago.

“The first time we played we were still missing four or five girls because they were still playing basketball or because of injuries, and they were missing a couple of good players who joined their team after that tournament,” Tameling said. “We really didn’t know what to expect today. Overall we controlled the game and played well. The defense didn’t give up any dangerous opportunities and I thought we did a nice job of passing the ball.”

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