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Ripon battles through early deficit, howling winds to dispatch RC
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Staff reports of the
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
RIPON — Ripon chose to play against a strong headwind in the first half and paid for it.
Host Ripon Christian used it to its advantage in taking the first lead just eight minutes in, but the Indians showed why they are now three-time defending Trans Valley League champions in a 5-1 victory Monday.
The still unbeaten Indians (13-0, 20-0-1 overall) were expected to win big, but RC put up more of a fight in the third match of the rivalry series.
Ashley Roberts’ cornerkick caromed off a Ripon defender to give the Knights (0-11-2, 4-13-2) their stunning lead, which stood for 20 minutes.
“Those girls are playing pretty darn well,” Ripon assistant coach Bryce Perkins said. “They have a deep bench and are able to (substitute) often, which is an advantage against us.
“They have an effective wing attack with Kailee Adams and Ashley Roberts, and I thought they looked pretty good.”
As has been the case all regular season, the relenting attack of Renae McFadden and the rest of Ripon’s front line eventually forced RC into submission.
After taking a 2-1 lead into halftime, Ripon was unstoppable with the wind to its back over the final 40 minutes.
McFadden, who blasted away 14 of Ripon’s 29 shot attempts, scored twice and assisted Lauren Goeppert’s goal in the 74th minute. Kallie Jacobs, Meredith Perkins and Goeppert each had a goal and an assist.
Thalia Bobadilla dished out McFadden’s second goal just seven minutes into the second half.
Ripon Christian was held to just five shots, all taken in the first half. Knights goalkeeper Beth Van Vliet did well to keep the damage to a minimum, as she recorded 16 saves.
Ripon will start gearing up for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs Wednesday when it takes on second-place Hughson (9-2-2, 12-3-3) on the road. The Indians close out the season next Monday against Escalon at home.
Ripon Christian rounds out the season with Riverbank and Modesto Christian both at home
Ripon will use the final two contests to work some players back into the lineup. Tessa Spyksma (knee) expects to return to action Wednesday. Katherine Ratto (concussion) and Ariel Anaya (knee) could be back for the playoffs.
 “We’re a little banged up, but I think we’ll be all right,” Perkins said.
— Jonamar Jacinto