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GIRLS SOCCER: Holts late goal sends Ripon to section final
GSOC--West Campus-Ripon pic 2 web
Aubree Pelon (12) of Ripon looks to work past the West Campus defense during Fridays Sac-Joaquin Section Division V semifinal at Stouffer Field. - photo by GARY JENSEN/


Bring on Hilmar.


Ripon High will have one more shot at the No. 1 team in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V bracket after Friday's 1-0 semifinal victory over West Campus of Sacramento at Stouffer Field.


"We were hoping for a score like that," said Indians coach Nichole Meyer of the defensive battle involving both teams.


The big break came in the 68th minute when junior Sydney Holt came up with the opportune moment to score her first-ever high school goal.


"I saw the ball coming in my direction at about waist high," said Holt, who cashed in on the pass delivered by Megan Johnson.


No. 2-seeded Ripon (15-4-2) fought hard in the final 11 minutes to protect the lead by playing the corners and loading up the back row. 


Senior Cindy Alvarez, one of the team's top offensive threats, also played back to help support freshman goal keeper Ashley Pugh, who had eight saves. She had back-to-back head shots and deflecting kicks delivered by Warriors' speedy forward Maya Richardson.


No. 3 West Campus (15-7-4) had one last chance in the closing seconds on a free kick that rattled around between both jostling teams. It was Kailey Triejo who finally ended the threat, clearing the ball right before time expired.


The Indians opened the game by dictating the action during the first 11 minutes on the Warriors' territory.


Aubree Pelon and Alvarez combined on a pair of goal tries in that first half only to be denied.


West Campus countered with several scoring threats. But the Ripon defensive behind the likes of Madison Pugh, Kierra Chavez, Amelia Ruiz, Deanna Sandoval, and goalie Ashley Pugh successfully took on the challenge, keeping the game scoreless into the intermission.


At that point, the Warriors held a 4-3 shots-at-goal edge.


They picked up where they left off to start the second half.


The Indians once again withstood those threats and had moments soon after that included Johnson just missing on a goal try.


Moments later, she found Holt for the game's lone score.


Trans-Valley League rival Hilmar, meanwhile, handled No. 5 Venture Academy to set-up next Thursday's section title game. The site and start time have yet to be determined.


Ripon is winless against the Yellowjackets during the regular season, including a 1-0 home loss and scoreless tie.