Competing without some of its best players is nothing new to Ripon High’s girls soccer team.
The Indians fared well in their Trans Valley League opener against visiting Riverbank Monday, winning easily, 6-1, at Park View Elementary.
Ripon (1-0, 5-2-1 overall) has had to play without senior striker Renae McFadden, the area’s top returning scorer, senior goalkeeper Morgan Torres-Unger and senior defender Thalia Bobadilla.
Their absences, however, have given a trio of freshmen a chance to shine. One of those freshmen, Tia Sidtikun, contributed a goal to Monday’s rout. The others are sweeper Samantha Evans and Brianna Mortimer.
Callie Jacobs poured in two goals and three assists, while fellow senior Kelsey Meeuwse played well as Torres-Unger’s replacement in the goal box.
“We are banged up and bruised up and are forced to pull up the reserves,” Ripon assistant coach Bryce Perkins said. “But those freshmen and the two seniors are really holding the team together.
“We are managing well around the injuries because of them, but our hope is to get through these early league games without a loss.”
Riverbank (0-1, 2-4) looked prime for an upset in the early going and took the lead in the 9th minute.
Katherine Ratto tied it in the 15th minute, and Mariah Denhart put the Indians ahead for good five minutes later. Ratto finished with two goals.
Ripon next heads to Salida to face Modesto Christian today.
RIPON — Coming off an impressive 6-0-1 finish in non-league play, the Knights were slow to start in their first conference game.
Escalon fired in the first three goals of the match before RC’s Kirsten Lown struck in the second half.
“We are disappointed to start our regular season with a loss, but we definitely know that we can play with these girls,” Ripon Christian coach Travis Haveman said. “Today’s game should really get the girls set into a higher level of play that they will need for the next 14 games.”
— Jonamar Jacinto