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RC avoids loss with last-minute goal in SL finale
Kyra Adams of Ripon Christian eventually scored the first goal of the game during a 2-2 tie against Mariposa on Wednesday afternoon. - photo by JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS

RIPON – Mariposa was on the verge of spoiling Ripon Christian’s senior day and Southern League finale on Wednesday.

The 2013 SL champion Knights didn’t let that happen as senior captain Kaylin Groen found the back of the net in the closing minute of the match to salvage a 2-2 tie.

“Our coach was telling us we needed to get it together in the final 10 minutes,” Groen said. “Luckily we had some shooting opportunities and I was just open. I called to Vanessa (Vallo) and she passed it to me and I just let it rip.”

Groen’s shot found the far post and snuck in 30 seconds before the final whistle sounded. Ripon Christian (12-1-1 SL, 16-7-2 overall) preserved a point and picked up some momentum heading into Friday’s opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason.

“The comeback was good,” Ripon Christian head coach Kevin Tameling said. “It’s better to tie coming back rather than lose a game that you’re ahead in. We gave away some goals, but the way our girls fought back was indicative of how they played all year.”

RC struck first and get out to a one-goal lead after junior Kyra Adams found the back of the net 20 minutes into the contest. The Knights held the lead until the 40th minute when Mariposa (8-3-3 SL, 8-5-3 overall) found the back of the net right before the half.

The visiting Grizzlies came back out in the second half and scored in the 42nd minute to take a 2-1 lead.

“Mariposa came out and started switching the field quickly and they were able to get two goals off that until we made our adjustments,” Tameling said.

RC outshot its opponent in the first half but wasn’t able to develop any legitimate scoring opportunities driving toward the net. Both teams played solid defense in the backfield and limited shots on goal.

During the final minute of the match, RC created some traffic in the box and Groen scored off a one touch via the assist from the senior Vallo.

“Mariposa is a talented team and it was a good game,” Groen concluded. “This was our last league game (at home), so I guess my goal was special because I’m not really one of the girls who scores too often.”

Ripon Christian will find out on Friday who its playoff opponent will be next week.

Hilmar 2, Ripon 1

Ripon closed its Trans Valley League schedule with a dissapointing loss on the road against Hilmar on Wednesday. The Indians ended their regular season 7-3-2 league, 10-5-2 overall. Kinsey Pettigrew and Jaime Rocha scored both goals for Hilmar (10-2 TVL, 15-4-2 overall).