Soccer: Ridge Point girls seize top 20-6A playoff seeding with 1-0 win over Clements

Ricardo Gaines photo

MISSOURI CITY – The Ridge Point girls avenged their only loss in District 20-6A soccer in 2019 with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Clements. The Panthers (12-1) have the same record in district play as the Rangers, but the victory gives them an edge in points that they will be able to maintain through their district finale vs. Dulles March 19.

As the top seed from District 20-6A, Ridge Point will face District 19-6A’s #4 seed – either the Katy Tigers, the Cinco Ranch Cougars or the Morton Ranch Mavericks. Clements will oppose the #3 seed out of 19-6A when the UIL state playoffs begin March 26.

Ridge Point was without its top scorer, Sarah Gillespie (13 goals, 15 assists, 41 points), but was up to the challenge of their district rival. Rugged defense and a brisk crosswind across the field turf on the Sienna Plantation campus kept the game scoreless in the first half.

It was still scoreless at 16:30 in the second half when Clements goalkeeper Kristina Burgos turned away Reagan Main’s shot on goal. A minute and a half later, at 18:00, Main got her fifth assist of 2019 to give Ridge Point the lead. She fed Madeline Champlin on a centering pass from the offensive right, into the crosswind. Champlin’s perfect header, her fourth goal of the season, just cleared Burgos’s outstretched fingertips and found the right rear corner of the net.

Prior to that, Ridge Point’s sophomore goalkeeper, Camryn Hellinger, made a half-dozen saves at the opposite end. After the Panthers grabbed the lead, the Rangers didn’t seriously threaten the goal as Ridge Point’s stubborn defense wouldn’t allow it.

In the all-time series, Ridge Point’s girls own a 4-2 advantage over Clements. The Rangers had won two in a row, including their 2-0 win Feb. 12. If they are to meet again in 2019, it would be in the Region III-6A final at Deer Park’s Abshier Stadium. Both clubs have to find four post-season wins to make Fort Bend ISD’s dream re-match happen.

Listen to the podcast of Friday’s District 20-6A girls’ soccer showdown, Ridge Point vs. Clements, at https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype. Also, tune in this week for four FBISD baseball games at that same link: Houston Furr at Kempner, 12:45 p.m. Monday; Travis at Elkins, 7 p.m. Tuesday; Bush at Kempner, 11:45 a.m. Thursday; and Ridge Point at Austin, 6:45 p.m. Thursday.