STOCKTON – Andrew Manes had four second-half goals – including two in the first six minutes of the half – to help Ripon Christian overcome a one-goal halftime deficit and defeat Sacramento Country Day 4-1 for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII soccer championship on Saturday at Stagg High School.
“We knew coming in that Sac Day was going to be some good competition,” Knights coach Keith Terpsma said. “We realized going into halftime being down 1-0 after some failed opportunities that we had been there before. We knew that if we could get a quick goal – much less two – that would make all the difference.
“We know from experience what we can do and realize when we fail to do it, but we don’t usually fail in both halves.”
Two minutes into the second half Manes took a throw-in from Danny Vander Molen and headed it in to tie the game at 1-1. Four minutes later Manes passed off to Vander Molen who tapped it back to Manes on the wing. Manes tried to cross it to a teammate but the ball ended up between the goalie’s legs and into the net for a 2-1 lead.
“We went down in the first half but we never gave up,” Manes said. “We said all year that we were a second-half team.
“On that corner I tried to get my head on the ball and at least get it in the middle but it went in. On the second one I was trying to send the ball to Travis (Vander Molen) and it happened to go between the goalie’s legs.”
As with the first two goals for Ripon (22-4-1), the last two began with Danny Vander Molen. In the 52nd minute he threw the ball in to Travis Vander Molen who got it to Manes for his second header of the day. With 2:51 showing on the second-half clock the scoring ended as it began when Manes took a throw-in from Danny Vander Molen and headed it in for the 4-1 lead.
“On the throw-ins we try to throw it long and get it in the middle for someone to finish it,” Danny Vander Molen said. “We were able to execute that a few times.”
Indians goalie Lukas Vermeulen tallied seven saves and came out of the box four times to stop Cavaliers drives.
“That is what I have been taught,” Vermeulen said. “If the ball gets past the defense you just run straight for the ball and hope you block it.
“I have been able to do a pretty good job at that so I am thankful to my coaches.”
Terpsma was pleased with the effort of Vermeulen.
“The forwards were having trouble timing their runs with the way the ball was rolling on the turf,” Terpsma said. “So that left it up to Lukas to come out and make a statement early on.
“I think he put the fear into some of those guys and that kind of makes you think twice as an attacker when that goalie is coming out strong.”
Following a spurt where Ripon Christian had four consecutive shots on goal, Sacramento Country Day (17-2-1) got on the board with five minutes left in the first half when B.J. Askew snagged a rebound and got it into the net for a 1-0 Wolverines lead.