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Ripon Christian narrowly misses playoff berth with tie
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Ripon Christian forward Teagan Manus rises for a header while in a crowd of Gustine defenders in a Southern League finale Tuesday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

RIPON – The Knights needed a win Tuesday against visiting Gustine to keep their season going.

Instead, they came away with a 4-4 draw in the Southern League finale, thus, ending Ripon Christian High’s season.

The playoff-bound Redskins (7-3-4, 8-5-4) won the tiebreaker based on the head-to-head competition coupled with Gustine’s earlier 2-0 victory over the Knights (8-4-2, 12-7-3), according to RC coach Kevin Tameling.

“We needed to win outright today to make the playoffs,” he said.

The Knights came close to doing just that. They not only fought back from a 3-1 half-time deficit to tie the game in the 73rd minute on Ashley Bloemhof’s header, but missed a chance to go ahead in the final minute.

Teagan Manus, who scored earlier in the game, swung a pass to Adrianna Van Groningen. Her kick hit the crossbar.

“Those are the breaks,” Tameling said. “We had a few games during the season where the ball also hit the post.”

He praised Gustine’s standout Madalyn Adams, who scored the game’s first goal in the second minute of the game thanks to a feed from teammate Stephanie Misquez.

She scored again in the 12th minute, splitting the defense on the breakaway. All told, the senior forward scored all four goals for the Redskins.

“Adams is a very good player,” he said.

The Knights answered back about a minute later on a goal by Natalie Van Groningen, who scored the open shot off a ricochet. Gustine got the point back when Adams blasted in the free kick from straightaway for goal, putting her team up 3-1 at about the 28th minute.

Tameling added that gusting winds may have played a factor, favoring the south end of the RC field. Based on that, his team had the advantage in the second half.

Manus raced past the Redskins’ defense in the 43rd minute, scoring on the breakaway.

Down 3-2, RC took a step back when Adams converted yet another penalty kick, netting this one from just outside the box.

The Knights were in a 4-2 hole and had several shots at goal thwarted by Gustine goalie Lidia Silviera. It wasn’t until Adrianna Van Groningen found Rachael Kinser with a cross pass in the 64th minute. The goal by the senior midfielder made a 4-3 game.

Van Groningen’s made a similar-type pass to Bloemhof late in the game, tying the game on the header.

Tameling noted that this was the first time any team has scored more than two goals against his squad. RC, in addition, entered the season finale riding a four-game winning streak.

“Still, we had a very good season. The strength of our team was its balanced. We played 15 to 15 players deep,” he said.