WATERFORD — Ripon Christian was a few minutes away from maintaining its comfortable lead atop the Southern League girls soccer standings.
Waterford had other plans Thursday, scoring three unanswered goals including Angelica Singleton’s equalizer in the 78th minute in a 5-5 tie. The stalemate makes the next match for the Knights (9-0-1, 12-4-2 overall) an even bigger one, as they host second-place Gustine (8-1-1, 13-5-1) Monday with a fifth straight SL championship hanging in the balance.
Thursday’s back-and-forth affair was jumpstarted by Abby Buitrago in the fourth minute when she stole the ball on defensive third of Ripon Christian and drove the length of the field to break the ice. Bethany Silveira then scored the first of her three goals a minute later thanks to a pass from Taylor Alger.
Karime Rodriguez got the Wildcats (4-3-3, 4-5-3) got on the board in the 24th minute, beating two defenders to get her shot off. Buitrago then set up Emily Manes’ goal to give RC another two-goal lead before Waterford’s Emily Ward answered on a free kick at the end of the first half.
The Knights picked up where they left off in the second half with Silveira completing her hat trick with a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes. She was set up by Thea Vander Meulen and Buitrago.
Waterford kept coming, however, as Nancy Perez and Jacelyn Romero in the 55th and 64th minutes.
Modesto Christian 1
SALIDA — The Indians (6-2, 10-6-1 overall) got a much-needed Trans-Valley League win on the heels of an stunning 3-1 loss to Escalon the night before.
Freshman Tianna Sidtikun factored in all four of Ripon’s goals Thursday, scoring the first in the 14th minute and assisting Aubrey Pelon, Megan Johnson and Cindy Alvarez on theirs. Ripon led 3-0 at halftime.
Jessica Growan scored the lone goal for Modesto Christian on a penalty kick in the 63rd minute. Ripon has a pivotal match with first-place Hilmar at Stouffer Field next Monday.
Lathrop 3, Oakdale 1
LATHROP — Kassandra Ceja scored twice for the Spartans (4-6Valley Oak League, 4-8 overall) and assisted Taylor Rose’s insurance goal in the second half. Goalie Noelle Smith racked up 14 saves.
East Union 1,
Weston Ranch 0
STOCKTON — Julia Vigallon’s goal, assisted by Britney Moneyhun, was all the Lancers (8-2-1 VOL, 12-5-1 overall) to scoot past last-place Weston Ranch.
Ripon Christian 1
WATERFORD — Ripon Christian (1-9 SL, 2-16 overall) had trouble containing the host Wildcats (6-3, 13-9) with three starters out with injuries and illnesses.
Waterford converted its fifth unanswered goal in the 41st minute before the Knights answered with their only score netted by Ethan De Jong on a feed from Matthijis Moret. Ripon Christian keeper Josh Tatton finished with 15 saves.