Ripon High is No. 1 team in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls soccer playoffs, and for good reason.
The Indians wasted little time against visiting West Campus of Sacramento in Friday's second-round match, scoring early while constantly maintaining pressure in their 4-0 victory over the No. 8 Warriors.
"The greatest compliment we had was from their coach (Richard Dunbar) on our midfielders — they're the best (West Campus) has faced all year," said Ripon coach Bryce Perkins of the group led by Ariana Scholten, Aubree Pelon and Madelyn Winter.
The Warriors were flustered to the point that they never got their offense untracked.
In the first two minutes, Ariana Daniels found the back of the net, taking a pass from Scholten — she had three assists to lead her team in that category — to give her team a quick 1-0 lead.
Ripon (19-4-1) made it 2-0 on Kailey Tijero's header off a corner kick by Scholten in 12th minute.
In the 46th minute, the same combo struck again with Tijero driving home Scholten's corner kick, making it 3-0.
In the 64th minute, Daniels, on a long clear-out kick by Tijero, scored her second goal on the fast break.
"It's been amazing to be part of this team," said Daniels. "I thought it would be scary to come in and play (as a freshman) but everyone's been welcoming since that first day."
Defensively, Ellie Everhart, Bianca Toledo and company managed to slow down any attack by the Warriors (12-5-2).
Perkins called Everhart the player of the game.
"She had the tough task of going against (Addisyn Barnum), who leads the section in scoring with 27 goals. Ellie shut her down," he said.
Added Everhart: "I was confident with our speed. I knew Kailey (Tijero) would have my back. It was a matter of staying focused."
Anything past that was snuffed out by goalie Ashley Pugh, who had just three saves thanks to her defense.
The Indians, on the other hand, had 31 shots at goal.
Next up for Ripon is No. 5 El Dorado at Stouffer Field on Tuesday. The Cougars (16-5) beat No. 4 Sonora 5-2 on Friday.