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Ripon sneaks out of first round unblemished
Ripon striker Renae McFadden bombs a shot attempt past Escalon defender Kara McKee in Trans Valley League action Monday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO/ The Bulletin
ESCALON — Ripon High’s girls soccer team completed the first third of its Trans Valley League schedule unscathed with a 3-1 victory over Escalon Monday.

Expected? Yes. But considering the rash of injuries the Indians had to deal with to start conference play, battling through their first five matches without a loss was no easy task.

“We had five starters out at one point and it was definitely tough, but we did well without them,” said senior forward Kallie Jacobs. “You can tell how much better we are when we have our whole team.”

Monday was as close to full strength as Ripon (4-0-1, 8-2-2 overall) has been, and while Escalon played the Indians tough they were in full control for most of the 80 minutes.

Jacobs finished with a goal and an assist, while Renae McFadden booted home two goals.

McFadden broke the scoreless tie in the 13th minute after Samantha Evans found her with a long ball from the defensive backfield. McFadden expertly played it off the bounce, chipped it ahead of Escalon defender Annie Gallego and set up her wide-open shot from just inside the 18-yard line.

But Escalon responded 10 minutes later, converting on one of its three shots in the opening half. Two of those shot attempts came on the scoring sequence.

Escalon striker Melanie Winkler broke away down the left side and sent a high shot to Ripon keeper Morgan Torres-Unger, who tried to bat it over the crossbar but was unsuccessful in doing so. Alex Gonzales snuck in from the opposite post to touch it in for the 1-1 tie.

Jacobs deflected a cross from Rose Beeler with five minutes to go in the opening half to put the Indians up for good.

“They held us really well in the first half,” Ripon coach Jose Bobadilla said. “When we were up 2-1 (at halftime) I told the girls it was like playing with fire. They put that one in, so they believed that they could do it.
“It was not an easy game by any means. I have to give (Escalon) credit, because they played well.”

Escalon ended up with eight shots to Ripon’s 20, but it had one more good look at Ripon’s goal midway through the second half when Torres-Unger made a nice diving stop of Gonzales’ at point-blank attempt.

Ripon’s Jacobs-McFadden scoring combo hooked up for the final goal 10 minutes into the second half. Jacobs worked the ball toward the left-corner flag and sent a pinpoint cross to the wide-open McFadden, who punctuated the game’s prettiest play with a head shot.

Jacobs and McFadden each had one more golden opportunity to punch in an insurance goal just minutes after that, but both of theirs sailed wide of the right post.

“We had control of the ball the whole time. I thought we outplayed them, so it was just a matter of time before we got a few of them in,” Jacobs said.

Ripon Christian 0,
Modesto Christian 0
SALIDA — Goalkeeper Beth Van Vliet notched her first clean sheet in TVL play, but the Knights (1-3-1, 7-3-2) were unable to gain significant ground on the conference contenders. Leah Martinez was also applauded for her solid play.

Though RC wrapped up the first of three rounds of the TVL season with just a single win, the players’ confidence continues to grow.

“We are feeling confident that we belong at this level of competition, which is really a first in the three years that I have been with this team,” RC coach Travis Haveman said.

Valley Oak League
Sierra 3, Ceres 0
The first-place Timberwolves (4-0-2, 8-4-2) were in full control and led 29-2 on shot attempts, but they didn’t do most of their damage until late in Monday’s match.

Stephanie Vanni scored all three goals for Sierra in the 59th, 73rd and 75th minutes with assists coming from Joanna Ortiz and Sydnee Koscielecki.

“We started pretty strong and had some great opportunities at the beginning, but we just couldn’t finish,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said. “Ceres had a lot of players protecting the goal so we forced a lot of our shots.

“Once Stephanie put the first (goal) in, Ceres opened up their formation to try and tie it but we were able to get good counter attacks from that and our passing game got better.”

Sierra will take the rest of spring break off and will next face Lathrop on the road on April 6.

Sierra 6, Ceres 1
Asia Cortez accounted for half of host Sierra’s goals, with the rest coming from Brittanie Barnett, Stephanie Davis and Nicole Moreno.

The Timberwolves improved to 5-1 in league, and 9-2-3 overall.