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Knights roll against SLs defending champions
Ripon Christian’s Ashley Roberts makes her way towards the goal during Ripon Christian’s 4-0 win over Le Grand Thursday.
RIPON – Throughout the first 40 minutes the Ripon Christian girls soccer team failed to convert on a handful of relatively easy goal conversions, but its luck would change in the second half cruising to a 4-0 Southern League victory Thursday.

The Knights (2-0-1 SL, 9-2-1 overall) dominated in every facet of the game for the two havles, leaving LeGrand with minimal scoring opportunities while attacking its half of the field without cease. The Bulldogs did not attempt a shot on goal in the second half until after the 71st minute.

“We were feeling good about it coming in,” Ripon Christian head coach Travis Haveman said. “We knew they had lost to a team that we beat pretty soundly in the past, so we wanted to come out strong.

“And I think we were able to do that.”

Ripon Christian did not really open its scoring barrage until the 66th minute, when the Knights would launch three shots into the goal over a five minute span. Even though the Knights put things away late, a goal in the game’s first minute set the tone.

Kaylie Colyn, Kirsten Lown and Natalie Van Groningen all tallied second half goals, with Van Groningen getting turned away in her first scoring attempt, yet cashing in less than a minute later.

“I went up near left post, and I’m left footed so it was a pretty easy shot,” Van Groningen said of her goal. “It was a nice pass off of an inbounds to the middle. One of our girls touched it and I just happened to be right there.”

Senior mid-fielder Ashley Roberts had an impressive outing against the reigning Southern League champs, asserting herself as the constant attacker in a Ripon Christian offense that held possession 80-percent of the match.

“Last year they took first place in our league, so we had to come out here and beat them,” Roberts said. “We have been working hard as a group, and I think this was really just out hard work paying off.

“I wouldn’t say we had the expectation to win, we wanted to play hard.”

The Knights will have to put the impressive showing out of their heads immediately and get ready to make their first trip to Denair for SL action against the Coyotes.

“We could have had a few more goals, but we had a lot of good control in both halves of the game,” Haveman said. “And that’s all that really matters and that you win the game.”

The two clubs are scheduled for a 3:45 p.m. first whistle Tuesday.