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Free-kick goal lifts Hilmar past Ripon
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Aubree Pelon (12) of Ripon deflects the ball in the air in front of Hilmars Sarah Alvarez. - photo by GARY JENSEN/

RIPON — A direct kick in the 49th minute provided the lone score Wednesday’s Trans Valley League clash between Ripon High and visiting Hilmar.

The defending champion Yellowjackets caught a break when Juliann Machado’s booted ball took a favorable hop for the goal, and they held on for the 1-0 victory.

There were a few takeaways in the loss for the Indians (1-1 TVL, 6-4-1 overall).

“We played strong throughout the full 80 minutes,” Indians coach Nichole Meyer said. “We played clean. We played composed. And we kept the pressure on them.”

Indicative of that was Ripon’s overwhelming 17-4 shots-on-goal advantage over Hilmar. The attack was spearheaded by senior Cindy Alvarez.

“She had a strong game,” said Meyer of her senior forward.

Alvarez had a pair of direct kick attempts not long after Machado’s second-half score. Sophomore Aubree Pelon also had penalty kick try during the span.

As was often the case, Ripon missed or had the shot gobbled up by the Yellowjackets goalie Mikayla Schmidt.

She along with defenders Sarah Alvarez, Caressa Barros, Betzy Chavez and Machado were among those who kept Ripon off the scoreboard.

The Indians were on the attack from the get-go, with Megan Johnson getting an open shot from 35 yards out at the 11th minute. Unfortunately, the ball just missed while barely sailing over the crossbar.

Team work by Ripon at the 18th minute nearly led to a score.

Hilmar (3-0, 12-1-5) also had a one-on-one opportunity in the first half. But Machado’s kick went wide right.

While the game was scoreless at the intermission, the Indians had more shots on goal at that point, 8-2.


To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail