Ripon High’s boys soccer team survived a scare against Orestimba on Wednesday, prevailing 3-2 in Newman.
Matt Uecker’s goal in the 68th minute decided it. Goalkeeper Jonathan Soto (6 saves) set up the winning goal with a punt that bounced long past an Orestimba defender. Uecker took advantage of the flat-footed defense and blew it by the Warriors’ goalie.
Ricardo Hernandez broke the scoreless tie for Orestimba (1-4 Trans-Valley League, 4-7 overall) in the 12th minute.
Ripon didn’t answer until the 32nd minute when Mauricio Aguirre blasted in a free kick from just outside the penalty box. Ripon (4-0-1, 11-5-1) was awarded the free kick after Orestimba’s keeper was whistled for punting the ball outside of the penalty box. Flavio Valadao blasted in the go-ahead goal seven minutes into the second half off a headed pass from Aguirre.
“Traditionally we play really bad at Orestimba, so it was nice to walk away with the points,” Ripon coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “We have never really been a good road team, but so far we’re doing OK.”
Ripon is in the middle of its toughest stretch in the TVL season having just played its fourth straight match on the road. The Indians next face a dangerous Hilmar club on the road next Monday, then it’s off to Escalon on Oct. 14 following a bye.
The Timberwolves (8-4 Valley Oak League) took a tough loss at Old River Golf Course in Tracy, but their postseason fate is still in their own hands.
With East Union well on its way to capturing a seventh VOL crown, Sierra, Kimball (7-3) and Sonora are in the mix for the final two Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament team berths.
Sierra was without its best player, Lexus Barnes, on Wednesday. Kimball’s Taylor Honnell was low medalist with a 45. McKenna Doyle paced the Timberwolves with a 48. Kaitlea Maestas placed fifth with a 55.
Manteca (4-7) still has an outside chance to reach the postseason, but Wednesday’s loss at Manteca Park Golf Course hurt its cause.
Kaylie Grimes led Manteca with a 9-over 46, and Katie Hankins added a 52.