The way things are shaping up in the Trans-Valley League landscape, Ripon has its best chance to land its first-ever conference championship.
The Indians improved to 7-0-1 in the TVL, 14-5-1 overall after dealing Hughson a 7-0 defeat at Stouffer Field Wednesday. Ripon hadn’t played a game at home in almost a full month, either.
“It was good to be home,” Ripon head coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “Our last six games have been on the road. This was our first game back in a while. The guys were excited to play (at Stouffer Field), and it showed. We came out with fire.”
Ripon’s junior forward Mauricio Aguirre finished with a hat trick and scored two of his squad’s first four goals in the game’s first 17 minutes.
The Indians led 4-0 at halftime against visiting Hughson (2-5-1, 5-11-2) and they continued to pour it on in the second half. By the 52nd minute, Ripon led 7-0.
Ripon’s freshman offensive midfielder Thomas Sidtikum finished with two goals and two assists. Seniors Matt Uecker and Alejandro Aguilar both finished with a goal and an assist.
Ripon’s Flavio Valadao (senior), Jonathan Soto (sophomore) and Brandon Roma (junior) each tallied assists as well. Soto also finished with three saves from between the posts.
The Indians will play winless Modesto Christian on Monday in a tune-up for a key TVL matchup on Oct. 23 against co-leader and defending champ Riverbank.
“The big game is going to be Riverbank,” DeBruyn said. “If we both come in with the same record, I like our chances. We went to their place (Sept. 30) and tied them, 2-2. I’d like to say playing at home gives us an advantage.
“The ball moves fast and a lot of teams aren’t used to it or ready. I like where we’re sitting.”