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Second section title within reach for Ripon

Battle-tested Linden looking for upset after two PK victories

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Second section title within reach for Ripon

Ripon High star Renae McFadden is the Sac-Joaquin Section's fifth leading goal scorer with 34. She and the Indians will vie for their second straight SJS Division V title today at Lincoln High of S...

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED May 22, 2010 2:26 a.m.

Ripon High’s girls soccer team reached the postseason for the first time in school history back in 2006, but the Indians were eliminated in the first round via penalty-kick shootout against Linden.

Linden is no stranger to nail-biting victories these days.

The Lions (18-3-4) beat Ripon’s Trans Valley League rivals, Escalon and Hughson, in shootouts earlier this week to set up a Sac-Joaquin Section Division V final-round showdown with the defending champion.

Ripon (19-2-3) hasn’t had it any easier in the postseason. Pitted against opponents from the Western Athletic Conference, Ripon edged out the WAC’s No. 3 seed, Hilmar, 1-0, in the opening round, and, after taking a 2-0 lead, snuck away with a 3-2 victory over Central Catholic in Thursday’s semifinal.

Both Ripon and Linden haven’t lost since March 13 in nonleague play. Linden fell to Central Catholic 2-1 and also lost to the Raiders 1-0 on March 5.

But the Lions have been on fire since disappointing scoreless tie against Calaveras, as they ripped off 11 straight wins en route to winning the Mother Lode League title and a section championship-round berth.

Linden has done it with defense this season, yielding just 19 goals in 25 games. Goalkeeper Jillian Winston has 11 shutouts.

Senior Nicole Martinez is Linden’s lone double-digit goal scorer with 19, giving Ripon’s young but stout defense someone to mark.

Ripon star striker Renae McFadden is fifth leading scorer in the section with 34 goals and is the program’s career record holder. Linden can’t ignore senior Kallie Jacobs, who has 17 goals and 26 assists. Her assist total on the season is third most in the section.

The Indians, who have captured their fourth straight Trans Valley League title, has beaten Linden three times since facing the Lions in their first-ever postseason appearance in 2006, and two of those wins were in the playoffs.

— Jonamar Jacinto
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