Ripon Christian’s boys soccer team overcame a halftime deficit, and Andrew Manes nailed the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute to knock off host Le Grand 2-1 on Thursday.
The Knights (6-1-1, 13-4-1) were able to maintain their slender lead atop the Southern League standings. Trailing by a point is Delhi, the only team in league to have defeated RC so far. Only three points separate fourth-place Mariposa and Ripon Christian, while Le Grand (4-4, 4-6) and Orestimba remain threats to seize one of three postseason berths. Each win counts as two points in the SL, and ties are a point each.
Ripon Christian completed a season sweep of Le Grand, but both victories were hard-earned. On Sept. 17, they met at Ripon Christian to open league play with the Knights squeaking out a 3-2 victory thanks to Travis Vander Molen’s last-second goal.
The Knights trailed by a goal to start the second half in both contests. On Thursday, Le Grand jumped ahead in the 20th minute when Sergio Garcia penetrated the defense on a great individual effort. Ripon Christian had several chances to break the ice over the first 15 minutes but couldn’t get the right touches.
Ripon Christian knotted it in the second minute of the second half, as Kyle Colyn crushed a 25-yard free kick from the sideline.
It took four connecting passes for the Knights to set up Manes’ game-winning goal. Coleton Hilarides received the ball on a corner kick and sent it back to Danny Vander Molen on the left corner. Vander Molen lofted it to 6-foot-2 cousin Travis Vander Molen, who then headed it to Manes’ feet. Manes did the rest.
Ripon Christian gets a shot at avenging its lone league loss on Tuesday when it heads to Delhi.
Manteca 9, Lathrop 0
The host Buffaloes (11-2) put together one of their most dominant efforts of the season, conceding just seven total games.
Their top-four singles players — Elizabeth Tolbert, Sealy McAdams, Julia Saling and Fechi Nkwocha —combined to give up just two games. Newcomer Lelja Pepic was elevated to the No. 5 spot and won 6-0, 6-0. Lathrop forfeited the No. 6 match.
The Gladis Sandoval-Stefania Mercado (6-2), Taylor Corona-Rubel Dehal (6-1, 6-0) and Jessica Tang-Julianne Eavenson (6-1, 6-0) doubles teams all won decisively.
Central Catholic 8,
Weston Ranch 1
Weston Ranch got its lone point from No. 2 doubles teammates Jaskirat Kaur and Alyssa Ryan, who prevailed over Alyssa McPhee and Lauren Aja, 6-1, 6-3.
The No. 3 Cougars tandem came close, as Rubi Sanchez and Rashmeet Toger came up short against Central’s Mary Lehman and Heather Lee in a 2-6, 7-5, 6-7 defeat.