RIPON — Thomas Sidtikun scored two goals and assisted on a third Tuesday to help keep defending league champion Ripon in first place in the Trans-Valley League with a 3-0 win over Escalon at Stouffer Field.
Three minutes into the game Sidtikun took a pass from Patrick Maragos and pushed the ball off of his chest past a Cougars defender and their goalie for a 1-0 lead. Six minutes into the second half Sidtikun put the Indians (3-0 TVL, 9-6-1 overall) ahead 3-0 when he took another pass from Maragos and arced a 30-yard shot just inside the crossbar.
“On the first goal we came through and I kept on pressuring and they couldn’t handle it,” Sidtikun said. “On the other one I took it down, cut back and took a shot toward the upper.”
Late in the first half Sidtikun and an Escalon defender dueled to head the ball in front of the Cougars net and the ball rolled to Victor de la O who popped the ball into the net for a 2-0 Ripon lead.
“After the header I took the shot off the volley and it went in,” de la O said.
The Cougars (1-2, 6-7) were outshot 9-7 and only got three shots off in the second half. Indians goalie Johnathan Soto had three saves, all in the first half.
“I thought that whistle to whistle, all 80 minutes, we came out and put pressure up and down the field,” Indians coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “That is what I challenged them to do at the beginning of the game and they came out here and did that.”
Ripon 2, Escalon 2
The Indians scored their two goals in a three-minute span late in the game to preserve the tie.
With five minutes remaining Diego Moreno ricocheted the ball off of a Cougars defender and into the net to draw Ripon within 2-1. Then in the games 78th minute Fernando Barajas took a throw-in from Moreno and got the ball into the net to tie the game.
Ripon Christian 0,
A tie was all the visiting Knights (5-1-1, 12-4-1) to jump into a first-place tie with Gustine (5-2-1, 8-7-1), which has played one more league match so far. Also on Tuesday, Delhi was knocked down to third thanks to a 2-0 defeat at Mariposa.
Ripon Christian and Gustine took turns taking over halves. The host Redskins asserted themselves early and had a 4-2 shot advantage in the opening half. Ripon Christian keeper Lukas Vermeulen came up with three saves.
The Knights took over in the second half, outshooting Gustine 4-1 but was unable to find the back of the net.
“It was quite a battle tonight,” Ripon Christian coach Keith Terpsma said. “It felt like a playoff game. What we lacked in intensity in the first half we more than made up for in the second half.”