Coming off a pair of non-league losses to Reading over the weekend, Ripley soccer looked to get back on the winning side of the standings and pick up a Southern Hills Athletic Conference win in the process onMonday, Sept. 21.
Eastern Brown came to Blue Jay Stadium Monday night and brought their offense with them. The boys’ varsity squads squared off to start the night and were scoreless through the early part of the first half.
The Warriors finally broke the drought on a penalty kick by senior Kendall Purdy. That opened the flood gates for Eastern, who scored two more goals in the first half and led 3-0 at halftime. Both of those goals were scored by senior Brady Klein.
The second half wasn’t much better for the Blue Jays. Dylan Schneider scored nine minutes into the second half and Luke Woollard followed six minutes later with another goal to make the score 5-0 Eastern. They would win by that final score.
Ripley head coach Amber Dudley complemented the Warriors and said her team looked good early but faded after the penalty shot.
“They have a strong team,” Dudley said. “We’re pretty young back there on defense. I think we played a good first half of the first half. They didn’t score until that penalty shot and I think we kind of let it go after that. “
On offense, Ripley was missing one of their best forwards. Junior Dalton Moran went down with an injury suffered Saturday, leaving a void in the front line for the Blue Jays.
“Our center striker twisted his ankle at Reading, so he’s out until he heals,” Dudley said. “You just have to fill in with players who aren’t used to playing that spot.”
The Lady Jays took the field next and got solid contributions defensively but Eastern managed to come up with one goal in the first half. That’s all the Warriors would need.
The teams were scoreless for most of the first half, although Ripley had trouble keeping posession of the ball. Eastern controlled the ball in their offensive side of the field for majority of the half.
Despite the time of posession dominance, the Lady Warriors had nothing to show for it until Delaney Walsh scored in the 28th minute of the first half. Ripley had chances throughout the second half, but their best opportunity for a goal came six minutes into the half.
Alexandra Carrizalez flicked a perfect pass to Alexis Conley in front of the goal, but Conley’s shot went off the post and was cleared by the Warriors. Ripley would lose the game 1-0.
Head coach Marty Adams said his team had chances throughout the game, but they could not take advantage of them.
“It’s just one of those games,” Adams said. “It was a tough game where a bounce here or a bounce there determines the game. They got a shot off in the first half I thought maybe we should’ve challanged a little better and it went in. We just couldn’t stick one in. We had a couple go off the post and we had opportunities, we just couldn’t convert.”
Defensively, the Lady Jays held Kayla Tomlin without a goal. Tomlin had scored multiple goals in every game the Warriors had played in this season. Last week against West Union, Tomlin broke Eastern’s single-game scoring record, tallying seven goals in a win over the Lady Dragons. Adams attributed that success to communication.
“We communicated better than we normally have,” Adams said. “The formation we’re running this year is new to all the girls and we made sure we were marking people. They’ve got one of the best players in the conference on their team in Kayla Tomlin and we had a clean sheet against her.”
Overall, Adams said he was proud of the team’s performance despite the loss.
“I’m proud of the effort and proud of the way the girls played,” Adams said. “Tonight might have been one of the better team games we played all year, even though we lost. That’s the bounces in soccer, but I’m very proud of their effort and the way they played tonight.”