RIPON — The possessions, ball movement and shot opportunities were there, but the goals weren’t.
Enter Matty Gay in the 28th minute.
Ripon’s senior captain drove in the first of his three goals at that moment to spark the Indians’ 4-0 victory over host rival Ripon Christian Monday in Trans Valley League action.
Ripon (3-0, 14-1 overall) previously downed the Knights (0-3, 6-7-1) by the same score in the semifinal round of their own Ripon Christian Invitational Sept. 13. On Monday, Ripon led just 1-0 at halftime until Gay struck again during the opening sequence of the second half.
Gay scored again in the 61st minute and found Jared Berglund for the final goal with 10 minutes remaining.
“When Matty scored it was like, ‘Whew,’” Ripon coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “I knew the goals would come if we continued to pass the way we were. I was impressed with how we moved the ball, but Ripon Christian’s defense is much improved.”
DeBruyn said that Ripon Christian defender Steve Vander Molen made things tougher on his forwards. Ripon Christian goalkeeper Ben De Ruiter finished with 15 saves.
The remainder of Ripon’s first of three rounds of the TVL season should be a doozy, with reigning champion Riverbank and 2008 playoff qualifier Escalon both visiting Mistlin Park Wednesday and next Monday, respectively.
“Wednesday is the big one,” DeBruyn said. “It was good to see some of the things we’ve been working on lately, but that game has definitely been lingering in the background a little bit.”
Wednesday’s contest against Riverbank is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start.