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RC falls to league rival Mariposa in OT
Mariposa-Ripon Christian girls soccer
Ripon Christian's Hailey Henderson (7) passes the ball past Mariposa's Marion Sberna and Autumn Stock (11). - photo by Dave Campbell

Mariposa’s Lupin Amstutz was too much for No. 2 Ripon Christian to handle Wednesday as Amstutz posted a hat trick and led the third-seeded Grizzlies to a 3-2 overtime victory in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 6 girls soccer semifinals at Ripon Christian.

Five minutes into the game Amstutz scored on a breakaway to give Mariposa (13-3-2) a 1-0 lead. Amstutz made the score 2-1 with a second-half penalty kick and in overtime she took a 30-yard direct kick and pounded it into the net for what proved to be the winning goal.  

“Obviously, we have a great leader and captain in Lupin (Amstutz),” Grizzlies coach Adam Finney said. “But I have to give a lot of credit to Ripon Christian. They played really hard. I thought we had it at the end of regulation until that girl came out of nowhere and scored that equalizer. They don’t give up and I’m really impressed with their team.

“My team has been through a lot this year. We have had kids pulled off the bus because of Covid tests that have come back when we were on a trip. We had a lot of times when the ball didn’t bounce our way. But we always felt if we worked together and trusted each other and played for each other that good things would happen and it all worked out.”

Sarah Vander Veen got the Knights (19-5-3) on the board when Ripon Christian threw an inbounds pass that was deflected to Vander Veen who fired it in the net to tie the game at 1-1 in the second half. With the Knights trailing 2-1 in the 76th minute, Helia Vander Meulen took a corner kick on the far post from Addison DeJong and blasted it into the net to tie the score at 2-2 and force overtime.

This was the third meeting of the year for the Southern League rivals with the series ending in a draw – in every sense of the word. Both teams scored a total of three goals with a 2-1 win for Ripon Christian and a 1-1 draw in league play followed by the 1-0 playoff win for Mariposa. 

“We really didn’t want to see them again in the playoffs,” Knights coach David Morris said. “Their No. 19 (Amstutz) is an amazing player and she carried their team tonight.

“I felt that our link-up play to the middle is where we were not clicking tonight. We were passing to the outside fine but we just couldn’t connect our passes into the middle of the field and the middle is where you score goals.”