Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
ROSEBURG — North Medford survived a physical Southern Oregon Hybrid battle in boys soccer, using a first-half goal by Leonardo Alonzo to pull into a first-place tie in conference play on Saturday.
Christian Siordia received a defensive clearing pass around midfield, took the ball wide with about six touches before sending a perfect crossing pass to Alonzo, whose one-touch effort paved the way for a 1-0 victory over Roseburg.
"It was really scrappy," North Medford head coach Michael Belzberg said of the match. "I thought the referees did a really good job for how physical it was, and we played tough."
After Alonzo's goal in the 34th minute, the Black Tornado (6-0-1, 3-0 SOH) defense did its job by making that stand up.
Goalkeeper Joe Siordia made four quality stops to snuff out any hopes by Roseburg (2-5, 1-2) for an equalizer.
North's win sets up a first-place showdown with South Medford (7-0, 3-0) at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Hoffbuhr Field.
SOUTH MEDFORD 2, ASHLAND 0 — South Medford senior Greg Rapet broke a scoreless tie in the 65th minute and Greg Alegria tacked on an insurance goal 10 minutes later to lead the Panthers (7-0) to the nonleague victory at South Medford High.
Rapet scored off a corner kick by Felipe Sanchez with a nice finish to the near post from the edge of the box. Alegria was set up for his goal on a hard-fought assist by Jeff Turner.
South goalkeeper Hunter Soper made a couple nice late-game saves to deny Ashland (2-3) as it pressed to answer.
GRANTS PASS 9, CRATER 1 — At Grants Pass, Grants Pass took a 4-0 lead into halftime and added five more goals in the second half in the SOH romp.
Jesse Acevedo scored the only goal for Crater (0-7, 0-4 SOH) on a penalty kick in the 77th minute.
Grants Pass improved to 5-2, 1-2 in SOH play.
MAZAMA 2, NORTH VALLEY 1 — At Merlin, North Valley's Brandon Rodgers scored in the 20th minute off an assist by David McLittle but the shorthanded Knights, who were minus five starters, could not stave off Mazama in Skyline play.
Luis Valdez scored in the fifth minute for Mazama (5-0-1, 2-0 Skyline) and Omar Valdez netted the game-winner in the 43rd minute for the Vikings, who outshot North Valley (3-2, 0-2) 16-6.
CRESWELL 4, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3 — At Creswell, Allan Garcia scored in the 54th and 63rd minutes to lead Cascade Christian in a tough District 2 opener.
Creswell (2-3, 1-0 Dist. 2) scored twice inside the final three minutes of the first half to take a 2-0 halftime lead and was up 4-1 at one point on the Challengers (1-5, 0-1).
Garcia's goals were assisted by Jake Booker and Jase Artale, who also scored in the 77th minute off an assist by Kallen Reichburg to make it 4-3.
ILLINOIS VALLEY 6, ROGUE RIVER 1 — At Rogue River, Jovany Sanchez scored three goals — two in the first half — and Ethan Clark added one goal in each half to lead Illinois Valley in its District 2 opener.
Andrew Evans closed out the scoring in the 76th minute for the Cougars (3-3-1, 1-0 Dist. 2), who held a 3-1 halftime lead over Rogue River (3-4, 0-2).