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A first and only for Ripon girls

STOCKTON -- All anybody knows for certain is that Kallie Jacobs knuckled a long shot on goal from the left corner.

Whether Renae McFadden got a piece of the ball before it went into the net is up for speculation. The coaches credited Jacobs with the goal, while those closest to the play saw a deflection.

The truth is, it doesn't matter.

The only goal of the game -- scored three minutes into overtime -- stood up for Ripon High in a 1-0 victory over Central Catholic in Saturday morning's Sac-Joaquin Section Division V girls' final at Lincoln High.

"All I saw was the shot and I couldn't see if it hit Renae, and I didn't care," said Ripon coach Jose Bobadilla. "All I cared was it that it went in the goal."

The celebration would have to wait until after another 17 minutes of action on the hot Field Turf, but the Indians came away with a lot of reasons to be happy -- like the finish of a 24-1-1 season, the school's first section soccer crown and its first girls' team section title in any sport since 1983.

"The girls came ready to play," Bobadilla said. "There was no advantage for either team out there and we knew it would be close. Once the overtime started, I knew that as soon as either team scored, it would be over."

Bobadilla's assessment of the evenly matched play was shared by Raiders' coach Marten Oliveira, whose team capped an 18-6-2 season with its sixth section title game appearance in the last eight years.

"We just didn't have the luck to get the ball in the net," Oliveira said. "We played them even, if not a little better during the first 80 minutes. We had one breakdown, it wasn't much, but it wasn't going to take much to make the difference in this match."

The "breakdown" might have been just a fortunate bounce for the Indians. Jacobs took a free kick from about 30 yards out that knuckled as it floated across the goal mouth. It took a strange kick off the artificial surface, and McFadden and Raiders' goalkeeper Katie Cardenas seemed to get to the ball at the same time.

"Kelly took the cross and I was coming toward the keeper," said McFadden, the No. 2 scorer in the state with 44 (or 45) goals. "I barely got the bottom of my cleat on it to deflect it, and it even hit off the keeper after that. We were just throwing things up there all game and hoping for the best."