RIPON — Nichole Meyer aimed to fix a leaky defense after the reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Division V champion Ripon girls soccer team gave up 12 goals in two road losses last week.
So far, so good.
On Wednesday, the Indians came up with their second clean sheet in as many days and routed Central Catholic 6-0 at Stouffer Field behind Ariana Scholten’s hat trick. Meyer was a standout player for Central Catholic, where she graduated in 2008. It was the first time she coached against her alma mater.
“It was a little intimidating because they’re a VOL (Valley Oak League) team now,” Meyer said. “Back then they were a Division V school in the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) but the program has really improved.
“It was a big game for me, I guess. I love coaching for Ripon, but this one had particular tie-in to it.”
The Indians (2-2) have one more opportunity to fully get the taste of last week’s head-scratching moments out of their mouths today when they head to Pacheco of Los Banos. They opened the season with a 6-1 loss to Beyer and were blanked by Galt-based powerhouse Liberty Ranch, 6-0.
Ripon routed Linden 8-0 on Tuesday and backed it up with another gem.
“It was extremely important that we shake off the rust from last week,” Meyer said. “We made a lot of mistakes while getting back into the rhythm and getting to know new players on the team. This week we wanted to start with the basics and get back into the groove. We talked about how to focus on defense and build the attack.”
Only the rain could slow Ripon’s attack at the outset. Scholten’s long-distance free kick in the 10th minute was the only goal of the opening half when the Indians had a 9-1 shot advantage.
The drizzle dissipated in the second half, and Ripon ramped it up offensively. Scholten completed the hat trick with goals in the 77th and 79th minutes, and Devaney Dougherty added two goals and an assist.
Maddy Winter finished with two assists, including one to fellow freshman Ellie Everhart in the 63d minute. Winter erupted for three goals against Linden on the previous night.
Aubree Pelon and Kailey Tijero each contributed an assist.
“They’ve shown themselves from the beginning as freshmen that they can keep up with the speed of play and do well up top for us,” Meyer said of Winter and Everhart. “Maddie is versatile. She started at right defense tonight but anytime we’ve needed to move her up she’s done well.”
Sierra 4, Pitman 3
TURLOCK — The Timberwolves (6-0-2) mounted another come-from-behind victory after trailing 2-0 at halftime.
Jadyn Shinn continued her early-season tear, scoring twice in the second-half barrage. Underclassmen Tiana Cello and Jenna Castro contributed a goal apiece. Yasmin Ballew, Nicole Martin and Cello each had an assist. Michaela Bitle recorded eight goalie saves.
Sierra outshot Pitman, 19-8. Senior forward and San Jose State signee Isabella Shallou-Enes had two goals and an assist for the Pride (2-1).