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Knights look sharp going into pivotal road match at Mariposa
Kaylie Colyn gets past the Le Grand defense to attempt an uncontested shot from inside the 18-yard line. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

RIPON — Ripon Christian’s girls soccer team is taking the one-at-a-time approach seriously.

Take Monday’s 10-0 thumping of Le Grand as an example.

The Knights (6-0 Southern League, 10-5-1 overall), who are 8-0-1 in their last nine matches, could have looked past winless Le Grand with a big one at Mariposa coming up Wednesday and didn’t. They dominated possession and didn’t allow the outmatched Bulldogs to attempt a shot in the first half. They owned 50-50 challenges, and they worked the ball masterfully on the attacking third no matter what combination of players coach Kevin Tameling threw out there.

This is a squad aiming to clinch the program’s first-ever conference championship, and a win Wednesday puts it in the driver’s seat at the midway point of the SL season. That key matchup, however, will be backed up by another, as Waterford visits for a rematch on April 10 following RC’s spring break.  Ripon Christian previously squeaked past Waterford 1-0 in their March 8 league opener and battled the same Wildcats team to a scoreless tie a day later in the Big Valley Lions Cup.

“It’s a game that we’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Tameling said of Wednesday’s match. “We’re taking it one game at a time and focusing on what game we have in front of us, but we also wanted to be prepared for this game coming up on Wednesday.”

Teagan Manus tallied a second straight hat trick, scoring all of her goals in the first half. Kaylie Colyn drove home her second of two scores — set up beautifully by a negative pass from Vanessa Vallo — by the 10th minute. And the rout was on.

Manus and Colyn accounted for RC’s first goals and assisted each other. Courtney Bloemhof, Kaylin Groen, Rachael Van Duyn, Jessica Beaukelman and Bryanna Heida each added contributed a goal. Natalie Prins had two assists. Back-up goalie Ellen Blankers had two saves in the second half to keep the sheets clean.

“We just wanted to fine tune some of our offensive movement. The girls played really well today and they finished,” Tameling said.