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First Place Riverbank Rallies Past Ripon
Riverbank High's defense of its 2011 Trans-Valley League boys soccer crown continued with a third consecutive blowout victory Sept. 24 at Ripon Elementary.

The Bruins rallied for three goals over a 16-minute span in the second half and blew by Ripon, 5-0. It was a more competitive match before the late scoring barrage, however.

Down 2-0 at halftime, Ripon coach Jamie DeBruyn added an extra forward to the attacking line with hopes of generating some offense. The Indians (1-2 TVL, 5-7 overall) couldn't capitalize on their few opportunities, and there were some good ones, in the first half, but being down two goals to Riverbank (4-0, 8-2-1) put them in a tough spot.

The Bruins were coming off 8-0 and 7-1 drubbings of Orestimba and Hilmar, respectively.

"We were forced to try something different in the second half and it didn't work," DeBruyn said. "I think we got tired in the midfield and that led to a lot of those (second-half goals), but they're a good team."

Five different Bruins scored, starting with unmarked Quintero Rodrigo's head shot off an indirect kick in the 30th minute. Then in the final minute of the half, Fernando Reyes intercepted a lazy pass and launched a dangerous shot from distance. Goalkeeper Johnathan Soto deflected the ball, but Riverbank's Kenny Veliz was there to clean it up.

Many of Ripon's best opportunities were stumped by Riverbank's offsides trap. In the first half, Arik Anaya had a direct kick graze off the right post, and Jack Brierly's open breakaway attempt sailed a few feet over the crossbar.

It was all Bruins in the second half after they adjusted to Ripon's formation change.

Oscar Jimenez finished off a breakaway in the 62nd minute, Eduardo Martinez converted on a counterattack in the 75th and Christian Diaz turned and fired on his goal in the 78th following a perfectly-placed cross from Miguel Guzman.

With only 10 league games this year, there is little room for error for Ripon moving forward. After hosting Orestimba this Thursday, the Indians square off with Hilmar, Escalon, Hughson and Riverbank again in order. Behind Riverbank, it's a four-team race for two Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths.

Riverbank is at Escalon (1-1-1, 1-8-2) today to continue TVL action.