Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
Garrett Byrd was the catalyst in helping the North Medford boys soccer team rally in the second half on Friday.
Byrd notched two of the Black Tornado's three second-half goals in a 3-1, season-opening triumph over Mountain View at North Medford High.
"The first half was really sluggish for us," said first-year North Medford coach Michael Belzberg. "We weren't really adjusting to what they were doing. But in the second half, we played outstanding.
"I think we were just fitter than the other team. We kind of wanted it more. When we tied it up, we were just more hungry I guess."
Before Byrd put the Cougars out of commission, Austin Schoenmann knotted the score 1-all for North with a goal from 35 yards out about 10 minutes into the second half.
Byrd drained a penalty kick around the 60-minute mark, then about 10 minutes later, he juked a defender and netted.
Goalkeeper Joe Siordia made four saves for the Black Tornado (1-0). Two were key stops on hard shots from close range.
Black Tornado senior forward Leo Alonzo played outstanding as well, winning 50-50 balls and contributing to North's rally.
SOUTH MEDFORD 2, BEND 0 — Humberto Alvarez's two first-half goals within two minutes of each other provided host South Medford (2-0) with the margin of victory.
Alvarez, a senior midfielder, scored in the 25th minute from a shot just outside the 18-yard box off an assist from Uriel Cordova. The senior midfielder scored again on a penalty kick set up from a play by Jeff Turner and ChoCho Sanchez.
Freshman goalkeeper Hunter Soper posted his first varsity shutout. The play by Panther defenders Luis Ayala, Jose and Rene Cabrera, Caleb Wright and Angel Montelongo limited Bend's threats.
BEND 4, SOUTH MEDFORD 0 — At Bend, South Medford fell behind 3-0 by halftime in the nonconference game.
The Panthers (1-1) had six shots on goal — two ricocheted off the crossbar — while the Lava Bears took advantage of South's errors to build their lead.
Center midfielder Sarah Kapple played well for the Panthers, covering a lot of ground and winning multiple challenges.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 3, NORTH MEDFORD 1 — At Bend, Mountain View scored in the first minute and led 3-0 at halftime of the nonconference game.
Amanda Hisey scored the lone goal for the Black Tornado (0-1), which had a sizable lead in shots and dominated in the second half, said coach Emily Miller.
PROSPECT 3, GILCHRIST 0 — At Prospect, junior middle Taylor Bernhardt dominated at the net and registered 15 kills in the Mountain Valley League opener as Prospect won, 25-21, 25-12, 25-16.
Taylor Reynolds and Chloe Zelnar added seven kills each, and senior setter Heather Lass distributed 34 assists for the Cougars (2-0, 1-0 MVL).