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Bruin Soccer Girls Hang Tough In League Play

With several ties to their credit, the Riverbank varsity Lady Bruins are still looking for that first win in Trans-Valley League play this season.

First year head coach Josh Hauskens points to the four ties as games that could have easily gone in the win column, give or take a bad break. It has been a season of learning, both for players and coach, as they get used to each other and find out what their expectations are.

Action this past week for the girls saw them end in a 5-5 tie with Ripon Christian when a sixth Bruin goal was erased on a rare 'hindrance' foul call by the officials. They also battled number two Hughson, losing 7-1 in a game where Hauskens benched most of his starters at the beginning of the game because they had missed practice.

In the Monday, April 6 game with Ripon Christian, the Knights had a 3-2 lead at the half and the game ended with a final of 5-5.

"Angela Duran scored two from the crease in 20 seconds, best plays I've ever seen in high school soccer," Hauskens said.

The first one was disallowed by the referees because they ruled another Riverbank player was in the goalie's field of vision and called it a hindrance.

All that did, he said, was make Duran angry and she made a nearly identical goal seconds later, getting to the corner, avoiding the defender with a pull back and sending it to the back of the net.

"We went up 5-4," Hauskens said of the late second half goal. "With 10 seconds left, one of my defenders made a mistake and Ripon Christian got an indirect kick that bounced around in front and went in."

That made it 5-5, a heartbreaking tie considering the Bruins had a goal taken away.

Celina Lopez had two goals and Duran also put two in the net but was only credited with one official score. Kaitlynn Deabenderfer netted one, as did Erica Orellana.

Hosting Hughson on Wednesday, April 8, the Lady Bruins found themselves down 3-0 in the first five minutes and lost a 7-1 contest.

"I sat most of my starters because they didn't come to practice," Hauskens said. "It was a hard lesson for them to learn."

Several players stepped up and did well, playing in unfamiliar positions and making the most of their time on the field.

"It was a 7-1 loss but the kids were going hard," he said. "In the second half, I put a couple of starters back in.'

Riverbank's lone goal came from Orellana in the second half.

With school out for spring break, the girls will just have practices this week, with no TVL games on the schedule. They get back to action next week, against Ripon on Monday, April 20 and taking on Escalon in a Wednesday, April 22 contest.

Hauskens said the girls have continued to battle and he anticipates the wins will come; it will just take time.

"We're just not as far along as I wanted to be," he admitted. "But I'd rather set the bar high and fall short than not have anything to shoot for."