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Weather weighs in on East Union, Ripon tie
Ripon High’s Kelsey Meeuwse gets control of the ball in front of a pair of East Union defenders during the two squads’ preseason contest in Ripon Wednesday. - photo by HIME ROMERO

RIPON – With non-ideal weather conditions playing a part, the Ripon High soccer team used a single goal from Renae McFadden to hold off a determined East Union High squad for a 1-1 tie in Wednesday’s preseason action.

The Indians (2-0-1) tied things up when McFadden nailed a shot at the 23-minute mark of the first half. A torrential downpour escorted the players into the second-half of action, making tallying points more difficult than usual.

“We didn’t really have a wet-game plan,” Ripon assistant coach Bryce Perkins said. “When it starts to rain like that, you offer ideas, but that’s the great thing about soccer. You don’t get to call timeouts, you don’t get to talk about certain things, you play for 40 minutes, you rest and you play for 40 minutes again.

“Forty minutes is a long time when you’ve got rain coming in.”

The Lancers took the game’s first and only lead when sophomore Stephanie Sabala scored from the edge of the 18-yard-line on an assist from Selena deSilva in the game’s 17th minute. The lead would be short-lived, as McFadden scored just six minutes later, yet still gave East Union something positive to build on.

“Our backline of Jesika Villegas, Kiana Lamont and Erica Aguiar played so sound,” East Union head coach Jim Todd said. “Even under the constant threat of McFadden’s swift offensive danger.”

“We were thrilled with how we presented ourselves today.”

Ripon is focused on making strides in the right direction with each contest, leading itself towards where it’ll need to be by the Trans Valley League opener. The Indians will continue against challenging Valley Oak League opponents, traveling to Oakdale and to Manteca for a rematch with the Lancers, attempting to develop the squad’s new team chemistry.

“These games are critical in terms of bringing our developing players in with our scheme of play,” Perkins said. “I think that is what is happening with our team, we have a lot of girls that have played rec., or school level soccer, and now by playing at a higher level they are starting to figure out the little things.

“I think this is a good series of games for our girls.”

Ripon will be back in action March 9 at Oakdale, while the Lancers will look for their first win of the season when they take on Bret Harte in the first round of the Buffalo Cup Friday.

— Jagada Chambers