RIPON — When the coach says to come out aggressive, it pays to come out aggressive.
That is what the Ripon Christian Girls Soccer Classic host Knights did Friday with a first-half blitz before coasting to a 5-0 win over Los Banos.
“I challenged the girls to go out aggressively,” Knights coach Kevin Tameling said. “And they did that. Abby Buitrago set the tone with two quick goals and after that she started distributing the ball and getting other players involved.
“Bethany Silveria, a junior who has not played soccer in high school, scored two goals. She has been a softball player, and since soccer was in the spring with softball she has not been able to play soccer. It’s been a long time since she played but she is picking it up pretty quick.”
Ripon Christian (2-0) tallied all of its goals in the first half with Buitrago pounding in two in the first 10 minutes and then getting an assist to Silveira in the 15th minute.
But Buitrago’s most impressive shot was one that did not go in. Twenty minutes into the second half she covered a loose ball just inside the 18 and blasted it on a line toward the goal. It clanged off of the crossbar and bounced high.
“The ball was rolling slowly to me and I saw my opportunity in the box,” Buitrago said. “So I took all my power and I just shot it.
“I was looking a lot to pass and to look for other people who were open. My goal was for others to score as well.”
After the assist from Buitrago, Silveira dribbled through three defenders and poked the ball past a charging goalie for her second goal of the night.
“This is my first year back,” Silveria said. “On the second goal I had to push through and once I saw the goalie and another girl coming out at me I knew I had to barely tap it.”
In the 22nd minute Paige Vos put the exclamation point on the evening for the Knights when she powered in a direct kick from 30 yards out.
“It was in the perfect spot,” Vos said. “It was set up perfectly and I think the other team was a little further back than they should have been.
“I was just aiming for the corner and put some power behind it.”
The Tigers (0-3) kept Ripon Christian goalie Emma Cormier busy in the first half with seven shots on goal, all saved by the Knights’ keeper. Los Banos got two more on frame in the second half before Cormier was forced to leave the game following a collision resulting in a nasal injury.
In semifinal action this morning, Ripon – 2-0 winners over Millennium of Tracy on Friday – faces Summerville and the Knights square off with defending champion Vista del Lago of Folsom at 11. The losers will compete in the third-place game at 12:30 p.m. and the winners in the championship game at 2 p.m.