RIO LINDA – Teagan Manus scored a hat trick and Bryanna Heida earned the clean sheet as Ripon Christian moved within one win of its first Sac-Joaquin Section championship.
And it wasn’t even close.
The No. 3 Knights routed second-seeded Victory Christian 4-1 on Wednesday afternoon, silencing a high-powered attack with one of its own.
Manus scored three times, including twice in the second half to finish Victory Christian, and Kaylie Colyn had three assists for the Southern League champions.
“We played our best soccer of the season today, which is what you want to have happen at the end of the season,” Ripon Christian coach Kevin Tameling said.
Ripon Christian (19-7-2) will play the winner of No. 1 Bradshaw Christian-No. 4 Forest Lake Christian on Saturday at either Cosumnes Oaks or Lincoln high schools.
One of the most decorated schools in Sac-Joaquin Section history, with multiple championship banners in basketball and volleyball, Ripon Christian has never reached a soccer section final.
“We talked about finishing strong, both our individual plays and collectively as a team,” Tameling said. “It’s usually difficult to keep everyone motivated at the end of the year with graduation, senior trip and finals looming, but this has been an exceptionally focused team.”
Victory Christian entered the game with a 50-goal scorer in Rachel Furtado and a 25-goal scorer in Emilie Potts.
Neither was effective against Heida, a sophomore goalie who made 10 saves.
“Bryanna Heida was the player of the game today,” Tameling said. “She came up with a few outstanding saves and controlled the box. As a sophomore goalie, that’s a big step for her.”
Manus got the scoring started in the sixth minute, finishing a cross from Colyn. Ashley Bloemhof would make it 2-0 at the intermission on a similar play – a centering pass from Colyn.
Manus would complete her hat trick with second half goals.