Ripon Christian’s backup goalie Teagan Chapman found herself up against it Monday and she rose to the occasion – twice.
In the waning seconds of the game against visiting Denair, the Knights were whistled for a foul in the box, setting the Coyotes up for a penalty kick. Not only did Teagan block the kick, she blocked the rebound kick, as well. The final whistle sounded seconds later to give Ripon Christian a very important 6-0 Southern Athletic League victory.
With two games remaining on the SAL schedule for the Knights, Ripon Christian (11-0-2, 16-2-3 overall) remains four points ahead of Delhi. Delhi plays Tuesday before hosting the Knights on Wednesday, and should Delhi win that contest Ripon Christian will be a point ahead going into the league finale.
A win or a draw Wednesday gives the Knights the league championship, but win, lose or draw, the Ripon Christian is headed for the playoffs.
“Last year, we were league co-champions and we lost to Mariposa in the second round,” Knights coach David Morris said. “We felt that was an early exit for us, and we would love to go further this year.”
Chapman came in to start the second half and prior to her two last-second saves she had not been tested.
“I was put in the position of stepping up and being the goalie,” Chapman said. “I was going to put my best out there and make sure we kept the shutout.
“And this is my first year playing soccer.”
Eight minutes into the game Maya Dejong, got loose just inside the 18 and launched it into the net for a 1-0 lead Ripon Christian lead. Midway through the first half, Taylor Postma fired a monster 20-yard throw-in that found Dayna Koolhaas behind the defenders for an easy goal to go ahead 2-0.
Less than a minute later, Annika Schooland found Addison Dejong near the net with the goalie having come out to far and Addison Dejong booted it in for a 3-0 Knights lead. In the closing minutes of the half Postma again fired a shot on a throw-in, this one within a few yards of the goal where it bounced around until it went off of a Denair player’s foot and into the net to make the score 5-0.
“I think that progressively throughout the season, my throw-ins have gotten better,” Postma said. “Especially since our forwards and strikers have been working on getting to the ball.”
The onslaught continued in the second half. At the 45-minute mark, Kayla Koker rebounded her own shot off of the Coyotes goalie and positioned herself for an unobstructed shot to make the score 5-0. Ripon Christian capped the scoring with 6 minutes left in the game off of a corner kick by Cilya Michel that turned into a scrum for Hailey Henderson to spot the loose ball and pop it into the net for the final score of 6-0.
Ripon Christian outshot Denair (3-9-1, 9-6-2) 14-5 with 10 of those 14 being on frame.
The game at Delhi starts at 3:30 Wednesday afternoon.