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Indians edge champs for much-needed win
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At this point, Ripon High will take goals any way it can get them.

The Indians took advantage of two point-blank opportunities off set pieces, the latter of which came from Zach Slamon with 2 minutes remaining in Thursday’s 2-1 win over reigning Trans Valley League champion Riverbank at Mistlin Sports Complex.

The victory keeps Ripon (2-2-1, 6-8-2 overall) within range of conference-leading Hilmar and Orestimba, which visits the Indians next Tuesday. Hughson sits in third place, while Escalon shares the fourth spot with Ripon in what is developing into a mad six-team scramble for three Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths.

“We need every single one of them from here on out, but we’ll jump at them one at a time,” Ripon coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “The defense is really starting to come together — we’ve held our last four opponents to one or less goals. If we can maintain that and gets some consistent scoring I think we’ll be sitting pretty good.”

Ripon once again couldn’t finish off some nicely-build attacking runs Thursday. Riverbank (2-3, 4-9-1) struck in the 7th minute for the lead, but with three minutes to go in the opening half the Indians  answered after a free kick from Andre Dedonatis.

Dedonatis sent it over the defensive wall and into the penalty box, and there to drive it home within the crowd of bodies was Alex Vitale.

The deciding score came in similar fashion. Bryant Macias delivered a cross on a corner kick, and Tamim Shetab deflected it off his hip while attempting a header. Slamon was at the right spot at the right time as he poked it past the Riverbank keeper.

Goalkeeper Tim Combley contributed seven saves to Ripon’s win.

“They weren’t some of our prettier goals, but I told the guys that most of them aren’t,” DeBruyn said. “It was good to see them really fight for it in the box. On that last goal, that was probably the first time all year that, as a unit, they really committed to a cornerkick and just fought for it.”

Valley Oak League
Oakdale 5, Manteca 0
Host Oakdale (4-2, 8-5-1) took charge in the first half, taking a 3-0 lead and leapfrogging Manteca (3-1-2, 5-6-3) for the third spot in the VOL standings.

“We had a few defensive breakdowns and a few opportunities to score, but Oakdale just dominated the first half,” said Geno Geerlof, filling in for head coach Justin Coenenberg Thursday. “We came out a lot stronger and a lot smarter in the second half. Overall, the score makes it look worse that what it was, but Oakdale was up for it more than we were.”

Southern League
Delhi 3, Ripon Christian 2
A disputed foul that led to a converted penalty kick and a non-call on a possible offsides infraction proved to be the difference for Delhi (4-2). Michael Garcia scored in the 76th minute for the deciding goal.

Sergio Espindola booted in the PK, which RC coach Keith Terpsma called “unwarranted,” in the 20th minute, drawing a 1-1 halftime tie.

Delhi went up early in the second half on Ronaldo Mendina’s breakaway, but Terpsma felt Delhi got away with being offsides.

Christian Manes and Tim Hoeksema each scored for the Knights (1-5, 3-10), with Jon Vander Molen contributing an assist. Jacob Meeuwse had nine saves.

“Our guys had to deal with some adversity today,” Terpsma said, “but they played a tough game with intensity.”

Manteca 2, Oakdale 1
Erick Alvarado accounted for both of Manteca’s goals within the match’s first 10 minutes. Onatois Rios was credited for an assist on the first score.