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Ripon Christian snaps nine-year skid to city rival

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Ripon Christian’s Abby Buitrago (5) gets congratulated by teammates after scoring one of her two first-half goals on Thursday during a 3-2 win over Ripon.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED April 25, 2014 12:00 a.m.

RIPON – March 22, 2005.

That was the last time the Ripon Christian girls’ soccer program defeated its crosstown rival Ripon.

The Knights snapped that losing streak on Thursday thanks to a beautiful game-winning shot by Adri Van Groningen in the 76th minute that lifted Ripon Christian to a 3-2 victory at Stouffer Field.

“Adri has a great long ball,” Ripon Christian head coach Kevin Tameling said. “When she puts the ball in the box dangerous things can happen. I think it was supposed to be a cross (pass), but I think she’ll tell you it was a shot.”

With the game knotted at two, Van Groningen hoisted a prayer from the right corner and sunk the go-ahead goal from nearly 40 yards out after Sam Carvahlo dished the assist.

Van Groningen’s shot triggered a long overdue celebration after it snuck over the outstretched fingertips of Ripon goalie Sam Brooks (two saves).

Despite the Indians (6-1-4 Trans Valley League, 9-3-5 overall) striking first, Ripon Christian netted the next two scores to close the first half with a 2-1 lead.

The Knights’ standout freshman Abby Buitrago, also the team’s leading scorer, tied the game at one in the 16th minute off an assist from Van Groningen. She put her squad up 2-1 in the 29th minute after Cynthia Van Vliet registered the helper.

Buitrago scored her first goal just five minutes after Ripon junior Zaire Davis put Ripon on top 1-0 off an assist from Morgan Carrico. Victoria Cabello attempted to clear the ball for Ripon, but Buitrago gained possession in stride and kicked it in for the tie. Thirteen minutes later, Buitrago got the same type of opportunity and took the ball up the left wing and stuck it in the far post past Brooks, again.

“I knew we had some dynamic scorers up top that can get the ball in the back of the net,” Tameling said. “We fought through and the girls played hard.”

Ripon controlled the time of possession and outshot the Knights (11-1 Southern League, 16-2-1) 17-7. The Indians’ forward, freshman Amanda Evans, was kept scoreless on account of a stingy Ripon Christian defense. Instead, it was Davis who took full advantage of the opportunities presented to her.

In the 49th minute, Ripon failed to get the equalizer after Carrico posted a free kick in the box. Ripon Christian goalie Bryanna Heida (11 saves) was knocked down on the play at the net, but still made the save. On the next offensive possession, however, Davis was there to find the back of the cage after Hailey Monroe assisted her with a pass inside the 20.

 “If you get (Davis) the ball in a good situation, she’s getting better at finishing,” Ripon head coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “Her second goal was beautiful. She saw that far post open, and she used her aggressiveness on the first one. That’s why she’s up there because she fights for the ball.”

Ripon could have used Davis’ aggressive play on defense.

“On all three goals, I saw defensive breakdowns with what we were trying to do,” DeBruyn added.

Give credit to Buitrago and Van Groningen for making good on the opportunities they were handed. After Davis tied the game at two, the match remained knotted for the 20 minutes as the ball primarily stood in the middle of the field.

Van Groningen and Van Vliet attempted shots on goal but were no good. Ripon senior Jessica Carmona had a shot on goal in the 47th minute and Evans had a shot on goal in the 18th.

Ripon will conclude TVL play at Stouffer Field against Hilmar on Wednesday and will head for the postseason. The Knights will head to the playoffs as well and will resume SL play Monday at 4 p.m. at Waterford.

Valley Oak League

Manteca 3, Oakdale 1

The Buffaloes (8-2-2, 15-3-2) clinched third place in league, along with a berth in the postseason, after knocking off Oakdale at Guss Schmeidt Field. Lejla Pepic had a goal and an assist to lead Manteca. She also put her squad up 1-0 with an unassisted goal in the 14th minute.

Oakdale (5-6-2, 6-9-4) tied the game in the 37th with a goal from Alexis Halsey. Manteca scored the go-ahead goal in the 60th after Pepic assisted Avigail Mayen. In minute No. 72, the Buffaloes put the dagger in with a goal from Leah Manuleleua (Ivy Benson assist). Manteca outshot Oakdale 13-6.

“We played awesome and stepped it up and played a much better second half,” Manteca head coach Justin Coenenberg said. “I’m really proud of the girls based on the situation of having to win and we’re in.”

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