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Indians crack curse in win over Escalon
Ripon High’s Matty Gay played the role of hero when he sent home the game winning goal on a second-half header in Ripon’s 2-1 win over Escalon Wednesday.
ESCALON – After putting themselves back in contention with a late first half goal, the Ripon Indians outplayed the Escalon Cougars over the final half, ending a nine-game losing drought with a 2-1 win in Trans Valley League play.

The Indians staggered through a lackadaisical start and found hope when Jared Berlund crossed a pass to Jared Ratto and Ratto’s kick rolled past the outstretched hands of the Cougar goalie to tie things up at 1-1. The goal was notched just four minutes before the half, giving the Indians enough momentum to take control in the second half.

“The difference in the two half’s was our aggressiveness,” Ripon head coach Jaime DeBruyn said. “We went out and attacked the 50-50 balls. I don’t know if we had a little lull from Monday’s game, but once we got ticking we were in good shape.”

Escalon put in its one and only goal at the 20 minute mark after hustling to a loose ball and lining a shot in from a little over 10 yards out. The majority of the action until that point was played on the Escalon third of the field, leaving the Indians pondering on what adjustments to make.

Ripon never budged, continuing to attack throughout the second half and reaping the benefits when Arik Anaya’s perfect corner kick was bounced in off the head of Matty Gay, pushing the Indians up with 15 minutes left in the contest.

“An Escalon defender was blocking me out,” Gay said of his game-winning goal. “He was pushing and pulling and I just snuck right around and got a perfect opportunity to head the ball in.

“It really was a perfect, perfect pass.”

The Indians would never look back, fending off a resilient Cougar attack in the waning minutes of the game and sealing the deal on one of Ripon’s more long awaited victories in recent TVL seasons.

“This is a big win for Ripon,” Berglund said. “It totally helps us in our run for the TVL title. If we weren’t able to win this game we wouldn’t even be in the hunt for the league title.”

Ripon (8-2 TVL, 19-3 overall) finds themselves a game back of league leading Riverbank High and comfortably resting in the league’s No. 2 playoff spot. The team is poised for a lengthy postseason run, yet they are focused on closing out the regular season with a TVL crown.

“This win separates us from Escalon a little bit,” DeBruyn said. “But we have our eyes set on that top seed.

“It has been about two years since we’ve beaten these guys, so that was the icing on the cake right there.”

The Indians will enjoy a couple days off the pitch and resume TVL play with a trip to Hughson to take on the Huskies Monday at 4 p.m.

Ripon Christian 7, Modesto Christian 0
The Modesto Christina Crusaders were in over their heads as Ripon Christian throttled the Crusaders in Wednesday’s TVL matchup.

The Knights (2-8 TVL) came out on all cylinders, notching their first goal just three minutes into the contest. Dylan Van Vliet got things going in a hurry with the clubs’ first goal and Mark Van Spronsen followed suite with a score of his own in the game’s eighth minute. Ripon Christian wouldn’t let up, leading 4-0 at the halftime break.

The Knights would add three second half goals to secure their second win in league play.