TRACY — Ripon came out on fire Tuesday, and only the Indians would calm their own flames in a 12-2 shellacking of host Kimball of Tracy.
Ripon scored 11 goals in the first half and dialed it down significantly in the second, taking just two shots in the final two periods of the Valley Oak League finale.
“Once we come out and we are confident in how we play the game then it makes the game really easy at the beginning,” Indians coach Erik Zador said. “It has been a little inconsistent throughout the season because we have a lot of new kids – we have three freshman starters.
“So we have had our issues with coming out against good, dominant teams, especially in the first quarter, and sometimes we have problems finishing games. But once these guys are dialed and their confidence levels are real good, then that is how they play.”
Noah Esenwein and Nick Gagnon combined for eight goals for Ripon (5-1 VOL), with Esenwein getting a team-high five.
“We just came out and started shutting them down,” Esenwein said.
One of only two seniors on the team, Gagnon was happy with his role as a mentor this season.
“I think this was a great season for me to go out,” Gagnon said. “It is nice to be able to help other people by talking to them and helping them become better players.”
One of those players Gagnon has mentored is freshman goalie Matthew de La O who made five saves.
“There was a lot of communication on the defensive side,” de La O said. “Everything worked out.”
Ripon ran its lead to 11-0 before Kimball (2-4) snuck in a goal just prior to the halftime buzzer. The Indians called a play in the final 30 seconds of the game that was capped off when Mika West scored.
Ty Wells added two goals for Ripon.
The Indians finish second in league after winning four straight championships. They’ll begin the defense of their Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title on Nov. 3.
Kimball 12, Ripon 5
The Indians trailed just 4-3 at halftime before the game got away from them.
“They were in it for a little bit,” Zador said. “Our girls are all-around talented players but they are lacking confidence within themselves and each other, but we are working on that.
“They are still very young. We have a couple of freshmen on this team as well so they lack the confidence of the boys. You can see the boys making quick decisions and pushing the ball where it needs to go and the girls hesitate a little bit, but we are working on it.”
Andria Martin and Mallory Brubaker had two goals apiece for Ripon (3-3) and Amber Scheid had one.