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GIRLS SOCCER: Ripon Christian battles Orestimba to draw
Taylor Alger converts tying PK against defending champ
Bulletin girls soccer 2018-19
Ripon Christian’s Taylor Alger kicks it past Orestimba midfielder Daniela Lopez (13) during a key Southern Athletic League contest on Thursday. They were the goal scorers in the 1-1 stalemate. - photo by GARY JENSEN/GreatShots.

RIPON — Ailing from sicknesses and injuries, Ripon Christian gladly settled for the 1-1 draw against visiting Orestimba on Thursday.
It was a result that the Knights (4-0-2, 9-1-4 overall) had to gut out against the defending Southern Athletic League champion, which had more scoring opportunities and possession.
“No one likes a tie, but we were down so coming from behind to tie is a little nicer,” RC coach Kevin Tameling said. “I loved my girls’ effort. I thought we had some chances (to score). They have a lot of fight of them and they showed that at the end of the game.”
Taylor Alger’s penalty kick in the 54th minute tied it up for Ripon Christian, but just as important was the play that set it up.
Left winger Rachel Oosterman ran down a perfect through ball from Janine Prins and carried it into the penalty box, where she was knocked to the turf by a shoulder charge from Warriors defender Kaitlyn Gray. Oosterman was subbed out frequently as she played through soreness on her shins. The Knights were already minus Madison de Graaf, their leading striker who went down with an ankle injury during their last match against Waterford on Jan. 11.
“Our forwards were succumbing to the toughness of the opponent and giving the ball up early in the first half,” Tameling said. “I said, ‘Hey, when you’re a forward you have got to hold onto that ball and be strong.’
“Rachel is battling some shin problems all day and just fought through. That was the difference. That earned us the tie.”
Orestimba (6-1-1, 8-1-1) has good reason to feel like it let victory slip away. The Warriors’ stout defense held up well against some dangerous runs from Ripon Christian, which ended up with only three shots. Orestimba, attempted 10 shots and had two good looks from Sophia Avila and Daniela Lopez in the opening minutes sail wide.
Ripon Christian’s defense tightened after showing cracks early on, but a foul about 20 yards away from the penalty box allowed Orestimba to take the lead in the 35th minute. Lopez, a skilled sophomore midfielder, drilled the long-distance free kick into the upper left-hand corner, giving goalie Nicole Chapman (three saves) no chance.
“That’s a beautiful shot,” Tameling said. “I knew it as soon as we gave it up, and I told my girls we can’t give up free kicks in that area because she’s very dangerous.”
Speedy sophomore Elle Van Wyngarden had some threatening moments from the left wing for Ripon Christian. She fired the Knights’ lone shot in the first half but hit the left post. They may have had few shot attempts but were able to create several promosing attacks that were ultimately snuffed out by Orestimba’s defense led by Paola Arroyo.
“We were putting some pressure on them, but they have some good central defenders who are fast and aggressive — probably the best ones we’ve seen in league this year,” Tameling said.