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Engels last-second goal saves Knights from loss
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RIVERBANK — A win is always preferred, but Travis Haveman and his Ripon Christian girls soccer team gladly took their thrilling 5-5 tie with Riverbank in Trans Valley League action Monday.

The host Bruins (0-6-3, 1-7-3 overall) looked to be on their way to claiming their first conference victory in the season, but Janelle Engel’s well-placed free kick from outside the 18-yard penalty line was the match’s final and deciding play.

“I can say that we are happy with saving a loss, but we also had a number of one-on-one opportunities at the goal which could have made a difference for us had they been successful,” Haveman said. “Nobody should be disappointed with their performance, though.

“We had an excellent game, and it just turned out to be a tie.”

Ripon Christian (0-6-2, 4-8-2) led 3-2 at halftime thanks to its excellent play up front from Kailee Adams, Kirsten Lown and Ashley Roberts.

Riverbank had a chance to put it away late with a shot off a cornerkick, but the Knights defense recovered in time to get the offsides call. The relentless Bruins managed to take the 5-4 lead moments later with a free kick.


Riverbank 1, Ripon Christian 0

In Riverbank, Katie Thomas’ potential game-winning, two-run homer was robbed at the fence for the final out of the game.

Janeen Viss doled out Ripon Christian’s only hit, a double, earlier in the seventh inning. Sarah Nieweg was solid from the circle for the Knights (0-7, 1-12), striking out five and walking one.

Riverbank (2-5, 5-6) rapped out 13 hits but left 12 on base. The Bruins took advantage of two RC errors in the third for their only run.

Ripon Christian heads to rival Ripon today.


Oakdale 206, East Union 220

At Manteca Park Golf Course, Oakdale’s Austin Whitworth started the par-37 front nine with four consecutive birdies en route to an impressive 3-under finish for medalist honors.

The Mustangs (8-3) also got a solid performance from Garrett Martin, who shot a 39.

Defending Valley Oak League champion East Union (6-4) was led by Kyle Harman’s 39. He was followed by Ryan Plum’s 42, Tanner Bragg and Guillermo Barajas’ 46 apiece and Jordan Duval’s 47.

“Ryan Plum had a great round for us today,” East Union coach Dennis Wells said. “He started the season shooting in the 50s, so I’m real proud of the way he’s been playing.

“Overall, I thought we’d be able to shoot about 210 today. We’ve been playing much better and we’re looking good in practice, but I think the pressure may have gotten to them.”

Bear Creek Invitational

At The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, Ripon pieced together an impressive 18-hole round with a 441. It was a huge turnaround for the Indians, who scored a 480 on the same course during the Trans Valley League Mid-Season Tournament on March 30.

While Ripon’s top golfers did what was expected of them, coach Chris Musseman singled out freshman Cole Bagdasarian’s 97 — a 27-stroke improvement from last week’s tournament.

“Before the round started Cole told me he was leaving his woods in the bag, and it worked out great for him,” Musseman said. “For the freshman to have the maturity to say he’s putting the woods away and looking to play bogey golf was huge for us. I was real happy with the way he approached it.

Daniel Cardoza carded an 8-over 80 to lead Ripon,  Josh Ricther posted an 82, Jake Ratto an 86 and Mark Bigelow a 96.

Ripon returns to the TVL with home matches at Spring Creek Country Club against Modesto Christian today and Ripon Christian Wednesday.

“We shaved 39 total strokes as a team today from last week, and that’s all I was looking for was improvement,” Musseman said. “This week is a big one for us. We have got to win these two matches coming up.”

— Jonamar Jacinto