RIPON – The Ripon Indians had an outside chance at closing out the regular season as Trans Valley League champions, but an errant goal took the team in the wrong direction in its regular season ending loss at Mistlin Park.
The Indians got on the board first with an Arik Anaya goal in the game’s 12th minute, but Escalon would respond quickly, scoring in the 22nd minute to tie things up at one apiece. The two teams would stay linked at a goal apiece until Ripon became its own worst enemy just inside the 54th minute.
A miscue left Escalon clutching to a 2-1 lead after the Indians unfortunately put a shot in their own goal, spotting the Cougars a break they would surely take advantage of.
“Any time that you put one in for the other team it gets tough,” Ripon head coach Jaime DeBruyn said. “We ended up giving away two goals that we had complete control of, so that was very tough to take.”
A questionable penalty kick call in the 71st minute would complete the demise of the Indians. Jared Berglund would add a goal in the 67th minute on an assist from Matty Gay, but that would be the end of the Ripon scoring opportunities. Ripon will enter the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason as the TVL’s No. 3 seed, setting up a trip to Patterson to begin the squad’s quest for a section title.
“Once you get in the playoffs it’s basically everyone for themselves,” DeBruyn said. “It’s going to be about who is playing the best ball at the time and who’s going to be consistent and capitalize at the right time.
“I still think that even with a third place finish, we can still compete with the section’s top teams.”
The Indians will make the trip to Patterson Tuesday to kick off the postseason.
Ripon Christian 2, Modesto Christian 1
The Knights closed out the season in style with a 2-1 win over the Crusaders in Salida. Ripon Christian jumped out 2-0 in the first half and would never relinquish the lead in the TVL finale.
Scott Faure punched his shot in at the 13th minute, followed by his second goal at the 26th minute on an assist from Jake Groen. Modesto Christian had no interest in going quietly, cutting the deficit in half with an uncontested Jesse Briganti goal late in the second half.
The Knights (3-12 TVL, 9-16-1 overall) closed out the season in fifth place in the TVL and took steps along the right path to close out the 2009 season.