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Buitrago records hat trick, RC wins
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The Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII playoff stage wasn’t too big for Abby Buitrago Thursday.

The Ripon Christian freshman netted a hat trick during the Knights’ 4-0 victory over Delta during the first round of the postseason.

Now second-seeded Ripon Christian will host a semifinal game Wednesday against the Ben Holt College Prep Academy at 3:30 p.m.

“We’re excited to go out on our home field,” Ripon Christian head coach Kevin Tameling said. “It will be nice to play to go to the section finals.”

Ripon Christian (19-2-1) will have to play against the Ben Holt Prep Academy of Stockton, a squad that handed the Knights one of their two losses this year – a 4-2 defeat on March 8 – for a trip to the section championship May 17.

Against No. 7 Delta (11-4) Thursday, the Knights recorded their 10th consecutive victory and Buitrago scored both of Ripon Christian’s first-half goals to make it 2-0 at the break.

Ripon Christian goalie Bryanna Heida finished with three saves and the Knights’ tallied 12 shots on goal.

Buitrago completed the hat trick in the 53rd minute after Sam Carvahlo recorded her second assist with a through-ball to the quick-footed forward.

“Abby played really well and stepped up when we needed her,” Tameling said. “She was really putting pressure on their defense the entire time.”

In the 70th minute, Teagan Manus tallied an assist to teammate Adri Van Groningen to make up the final score.