Ripon Christian’s girls soccer team is on a roll after starting out the season against stiff competition and without several of its top players who were still playing basketball.
On Saturday, the Knights (5-6-1) claimed the 2013 Lady Lions Cup Tournament championship by going 2-0-1 and avenging a previous loss to host Big Valley Christian in the title match.
In the finals, senior Ashley Bloemhof tallied her third goal of the day with the tying score early in the first half. Ripon Christian and Big Valley (5-2) would carry the 1-1 tie through two overtime periods and settled it with a penalty-kick shootout won by RC, 5-4. Kaylie Colyn, Emily Hoeksema, Kaylin Groen, Vanessa Vallo and Bloemhof all buried their shots.
Ripon Christian, which dropped six of its first seven nonleague matches, opened tournament play with a scoreless draw against Southern League rival and defending conference champ Waterford. Bryanna Heida came through for her first six of 14 saves of the tournament.
Their second-round game was essentially a semifinal for the Knights, who were awarded a win by forfeiture with Jim Elliot Christian exiting the tournament early. Ripon Christian edged out Venture Academy of Stockton, 4-3. Courtney Bloemhof clinched it for RC with less than two minutes remaining after Vanessa Vallo delivered a perfect cross to her. Ashley Bloemhof punched in the game’s first two goals, and Amanda Evans later pushed the Knights ahead, 3-2.
Ripon Christian looks to carry the momentum into its SL opener at Denair on Wednesday.
Patterson 3, Lathrop 1
Lathrop 2, Millennium 1
The Spartans (4-6-2) didn’t come away from the Sierra tournament empty-handed, as they were able to down defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII champion Millennium in the finale. They finished 1-2-1 in the tournament.
Stephanie Maduli produced all three of Lathrop’s goals on Saturday, one of them assisted by Selena Contreras. Calllia Morales-Linnell turned in 16 saves.