A season for the ages came to an abrupt end for Ripon Christian Wednesday, as the Knights fell short offensively and were beat 4-0 by Sacramento Country Day during semifinal action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division- II playoffs.
The Knights trailed at the half and could not muster a comeback. Sac Country Day, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, scored a goal in the 47th minute for a 2-0 lead and would add a pair of goals late to earn a berth in the section final.
“It could have been a different game if we could have gotten that first goal,” Ripon Christian head coach Keith Terpsma said. “The momentum shifted for them early on and I have to give their team credit, they are a disciplined group of players.”
The Knights (13-5-4) earning a postseason berth is a victory in itself for the Southern League’s No. 3 team. The Knights were a bottom-of-the-barrel team a season ago in the Southern League, but together a respectable run through the league this season, including a key tie with two-time SL champ Gustine and beating league champ Delhi late in the league season.
“Our youngest player was in kindergarten the last time RC made it to playoffs,” Terpsma said. “We’ve been talking about that all season. Regardless of our loss today it was an epic season for us. We all knew that there was something special about this year. It’s heartbreaking to lose in playoffs, but for us it felt like poetry suddenly stopped.
“We were hoping for a section championship, which would have been a fitting end to a spectacular season.”