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Ripon kicks off title defense with little trouble despite missing key players
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RIVERBANK — Ripon High’s Renae McFadden was forced to play out of position with star center midfielder Ariel Anaya (knee) and wing forward Meredith Perkins (sick) sidelined.

It didn’t seem to matter for the striker-turned-halfback for a day.

Despite constant pressure from multiple defenders, McFadden scored twice to run her gaudy season goal total to 13, and the defending Trans Valley League champion Indians rolled Riverbank 4-0 to open the regular season.

Even with Anaya and Perkins out, the one-sided victory was expected of Ripon, which is off to a terrific 8-0-1 overall start. But Riverbank (3-2) isn’t the Riverbank of old.

“They’re a different team this year,” Ripon assistant coach Bryce Perkins said. “I think they’ll upset somebody this year, hopefully it’s not us.”

The Bruins got Ripon’s attention within five minutes of the opening kickoff, but Morgan Unger-Torres was able to stuff a one-on-one breakaway for her only save of the match.

Ripon didn’t strike until the 17th minute when Lauren Goeppert buried her first goal of the season after fleet-footed freshman Katherine Ratto worked a nice run near the right sideline.

With seven minutes to go in the first half, Thalia Bobadilla connected with McFadden on an indirect kick.

Kallie Jacobs hit net in the 50th minute with the assist coming from Goeppert, and McFadden put her skills on display four minutes later with a burst up the middle for her second goal.

Freshman Rose Beeler and Kelsey Meeuwse played well in front of Unger-Torres to help the team notch its fourth shutout of the season.

The Indians next host Modesto Christian (1-2-2) Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. at Parkview Elementary.

— Jonamar Jacinto