Corban pulls out last-gasp win over Raiders

Corban's Emily Tsugawa knocked a free kick off the left post and into the corner of the net with 12 seconds remaining in overtime for a 1-0 Cascade Collegiate Conference victory over Southern Oregon Friday at University Field.

Tsugawa scored the game-winner, her eighth goal of the season, in the 100th minute following an SOU foul. She shot from the right side about 15 yards out and hit the inside of the left post to bounce the ball into the net, making the Warriors 8-5 overall and 3-2 in conference.

"That is a tough one," SOU coach Jon Clement said after his team fell to 6-5-2 and 2-2-1. "I don't think it's possible to dominate a team as much as we did in the second half and not be ahead in the score line."

Southern Oregon held possession throughout the second half, tallying nine of their 14 corner kicks in the period and out-shooting Corban 10-1 during that stretch. The Raiders finished with a 20-10 shot advantage and a 14-3 lead in corners, but Corban goalkeeper Kaitlyn Mendenhall had six saves in the shutout.

Stephanie Carr finished with a match-high 10 shots — totaling Corban's team output — including three on goal. She had a couple one-on-one chances, but Mendenhall made impressive saves to protect the shutout.

The Raiders host Northwest Christian at 1 p.m. Sunday in their final home match of the regular season.

Cross Country

Southern Oregon's top-ranked men's and 21st-ranked women's cross country teams return to competition this weekend when they will head to Portland for the Cascade Collegiate Conference Preview at Lents Park.

The Raider men continue to hold a slim lead in the top spot in the latest NAIA Poll, picking up 12 of 21 possible first place votes to hold a five-point lead over Cal State San Marcos for their sixth consecutive week atop the rankings. Southern Oregon's women fell two spots this week to rank 21st in the latest poll.

Today's race will give the Raiders an opportunity to take on the conference opponents who will try to stand in the way of SOU's conference title aspirations next month. The conference is one of the nation's strongest in cross country, with 11 teams receiving votes in the national polls.

"It's our first chance for both the men's and the women's teams to see how we stack up against conference schools," SOU head coach Grier Gatlin said.

The SOU men have topped the rankings since the preseason poll, but with five top-25 programs in the CCC the Raiders will face a challenge at both Saturday's Preview Meet and next month's championship meet. Concordia comes in ranked eighth, followed by College of Idaho (12th), Eastern Oregon (14th) and Oregon Tech (25), with Northwest Christian sitting just outside the rankings with 43 points.

Eric Avila (Chula Vista, Calif./Bonita Vista) will lead the way for the men after being the team's top runner in each of their first two meets. Behind the sophomore, the Raiders have strong depth with a large contingent of runners who could finish in the conference top 10. Provided health cooperates, that is.

"We're injury free," Gatlin said. "But we do have a little bit of a cold bug going around the men's team that we hope will clear up by Saturday."

On the women's side, the Raiders will be looking to take down top-10 conference opponents College of Idaho (tied for third) and Northwest Christian (seventh). Eastern Oregon and Oregon Tech also picked up votes in the poll. But Gatlin expects the women's team to hold its own Saturday.

"We're looking for some big things from the women," Gatlin said.

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