The Ripon High School girls’ soccer team traveled Tuesday to Appleton to take on the Fox Valley Lutheran (FVL) Foxes, who are one of the stronger teams in the Eastern Valley Conference.

The game was played in a light rain on a field saturated with water, and the Tigers struggled to deal with the conditions as they lost 10-0 via the mercy rule at the 72-minute mark.

“We had some issues keeping our balance in the water to start with and weren’t sure how the ball would behave,” Ripon head coach Dana Scott said. “It’s a lot different from our artificial turf.”

The experienced Foxes adjusted much more quickly and penned the Tigers inside their own half of the field for the most part.

The first goal was scored in less than a minute when the ball stopped in a puddle right in front of the goal and was toed into the net.

Ripon, however, didn’t give up.

Kendra Block filled in for the missing Cara Pedigo to play alongside Aubrey Schoff, and the two didn’t let the Appleton girls have their way.

Playing against a center midfielder who is one of the top players in the conference, Nalani Amsden held her own, again trying her best to shield the central defenders. Esther Rodman moved to right back and was able to stop most of the attacks coming in from that side.

The heroine of the game, however, was Alissa Balke in goal. The first-year keeper made almost 50 saves during the next 70 minutes.

She tipped balls over and around the goal with her fingertips, made stops at point-blank range and smothered loose balls.

But there were just too many opportunities and the 10th goal went in to end the game at 72 minutes.

Read the full story, which includes information on a 3-0 loss last week Friday to Campbellsport, in the May 1, 2014 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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