Ripon was ahead comfortably with a two-goal lead at halftime Wednesday in Salida.
Then Modesto Christian quickly made things uncomfortable for the visiting Indians.
The Crusaders struck twice to tie it early in the second half before Ripon surged to a 5-2 victory. Tia Sidtikun tallied three goals for the Indians, and Maci Christian chipped in two.
It was a wake-up call for Ripon (2-0-1, 5-2-1 overall), which figured it was in for a lopsided win after holding a 17-0 advantage on shot attempts by the break.
It wasn’t long ago that Modesto Christian was a small-school powerhouse in girls soccer, but it has fallen on hard times in recent years. Last season there weren’t enough players to field a team, and on Tuesday the Crusaders started with 10 players — one below the minimum of starters — before an 11th joined in early in the first half.
“They’re going to be a force if they can keep them together,” said Ripon assistant coach Bryce Perkins, adding that MC is a team mostly of freshmen.
Christian scored in the 22nd minute and Sidtikun in the 29th to give Ripon its early lead. Jordyn Wall, Michelle Cardoza and Hayley Simmons were in on the assists.
Modesto Christian (0-3) turned up its play when the teams switched fields. Freshman forward Carsyn Hoogendorn cut the deficit in half with a goal in the 52nd minute, and two minutes later she assisted Candice White’s equalizer.
Sidtikun and the Indians restored order shortly after. After a handball in the box, Sidtikun converted the penalty kick in the 58th minute to put them up for good. She then delivered a through ball to Christian to double the lead eight minutes later. Siditkun punctuated her hat trick in the waning moments when she launched a 45-yard bomb into an empty goal box.
Ripon Christian 6, Turlock Christian 0
The host Knights (4-0, 8-6-1) continued its hot start to league, getting two goals each from Courtney Bloemhof and Natalie Prins. Kaylie Colyn and Rachael Van Dyn added one goal apiece, and Teagan Manus recorded three assists.