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Ripon cant fend off Bruins
Ripon High junior Jared Ratto fly’s for the loose ball alongised a Riverbank defender during the two squads’ 1-1 Trans Valley League tie Wednesday. - photo by JADAGA CHAMBERS
RIPON—The Ripon Indians took the inside track on the Trans Valley League championship with a Jared Ratto goal in the game’s 32nd minute, but Riverbank’s own goal midway through the second half has left the Indians hoping for a miracle over the leagues’ final day of action.

Ripon could not hold off the reigning TVL co-champions, walking off the Mistlin Park field with their first tie of the league season and squandered hopes of what could have been for its league title hopes.

“We needed to walk out of here with a win,” Ripon head coach Jaime DeBruyn said. “The last thing I wanted to see was a loss or a tie. I was hoping that we wouldn’t let down and we’d keep pushing.

“We fought hard for a good 65 minutes, but we came up short.”

Ripon did what they wanted to do, striking first when Jared Ratto made a tremendous clear, dropping a pass to Ratto in perfect stride from over half the field in which Ratto promptly lofted over the Bruins’ keeper for a 1-0 lead.

“I still felt we needed to step up our defense even though we were doing great,” freshman Arik Anaya said. “The wind was against us and we had to play our hardest to pull out the win.”

The Indians (10-4 TVL, 21-5 overall) seemingly were in cruise control until Riverbank came off a corner kick, gathered the ball and Adrian Pantoja slipped Christian Albor a perfect pass in a cluttered box, which the senior captain headed in for the tying goal.

Riverbank took shot after shot in the second half, taking full advantage of the powerful gusts of win which plagued the entire contest.

“The wind definitely played a factor for both teams,” Anaya said. “It really stopped us from getting the ball up past half line.

“I really wish we would have been able to play in better conditions.”

Ripon keeper Tim Combley did all he could do in the net, turning away 10 shots and providing his teammates with timely remarkable saves, keeping them in the contest until the final whistle.

“I’ve known all along that Tim has the physical attributes to be a great goalie,” DeBruyn said of his keeper. “He showed that today. He has been playing very good as of late and that’s what he does.

“I’m glad to see in a game that was this big he really stepped up for us.”

Ripon doesn’t have any time to hang its head, clsong out the regular season Monday with a home game against the Escalon Cougars. The two clubs have split their two contests this season, but their final episode will obviously hold the most value.

“We played hard and we played together,” Combley said. “The game just didn’t go our way today. If there is any team that can bounce back and be ready for Escalon it’s us.”

Hughson 2, Ripon Christian 1
The Knights walked into the halftime intermission locked in a 1-1 tie, but could not keep the Huskies off the scoreboard in the second half, falling 2-1 in TVL action.

Ripon Christian got its lone goal from Scott Faure halfway through the first half after Hugshon struck in the game’s fifth minute to take the early lead. The game would remain deadlocked until the 58th minute, when Hughson notched its second and final goal of the contest.

“Hughson had a tough time figuring out how to keep the ball on the ground against the wind,” Knights head coach Keith Terpsma said. “Which gave us multiple opportunities on goal.

“We just couldn’t finish our shots.”

Keeper Ben De Ruiter kept the Knights in the game, posting nine saves in both half’s of action.