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...
North Medford boys soccer players Christian Siordia and Garrett Byrd worked well together Tuesday.
The juniors combined for two second-half goals as the Black Tornado clinched the Southern Oregon Hybrid boys soccer championship with a 3-0 victory over Roseburg at Hoffbuhr Field.
The teams played to a scoreless first half.
Siordia tallied the first of two goals on a through ball from Byrd in the 55th minute. About 10 minutes later, the same pair connected when Siordia put the ball over the head of Roseburg goalie Armando Santillan, who had come out of the net.
Leo Alonzo headed in a corner kick by Austin Schoemann for North's final goal in the 75th minute.
The Black Tornado (11-0-1, 7-0 SOH) received spirited play off the bench from sophomore midfielder Adrian Barrera.
"(Barrera) was being aggressive and winning the 50-50 balls," said North Medford first-year coach Michael Belzberg. "He was doing the little things."
Belzberg also credited Benito Torres-Mata, a junior stopper, with being inspirational: "He's a great leader and told the other players to just stay positive.
"(Torres-Mata) held the defense together very well," added Belzberg. "Our whole team is playing great defense. I think we've only given up one goal in conference so far."
Senior Joe Siordia, a first-year starting goalie, made some key saves and did a good job orchestrating the defense.
"Roseburg came ready to play," said Belzberg, "and I wouldn't say we were on our toes to start the game. In the second half the boys realized what was a stake. They dug deep and reached their first goal — to win the conference."
GRANTS PASS 6, CRATER 1 — At Central Point, Nick Kaminsky scored two goals and Brian Luther had two assists to help Grants Pass to the SOH victory.
Grants Pass (8-4, 4-3 SOH) scored four goals in the second half to pull away.
Senior Jesse Acevedo scored the lone goal in the 16th minute for the Comets (0-12, 0-8).
SOUTH MEDFORD 4, ASHLAND 2 — At Ashland, South Medford senior forward Humberto Alvarez scored two goals in the first seven minutes of the second half as the Panthers broke out of a scoreless halftime tie to take a 3-0 lead before holding off a late surge by Ashland.
Felipe Sanchez scored the third goal for South (10-2), which has won three games in a row, in the 52nd minute. The Grizzlies (5-6) got within a goal on strikes by Gabe Young in the 56th and Zahara Moyers-Cullumbine in the 66th before the Panthers' Uriel Cordoba tacked on an insurance goal in the 76th.
PHOENIX 3, MAZAMA 2 — Phoenix scored three early goals then held off Mazama to clinch the Skyline crown at U.S. Cellular Park.
Phoenix, No. 1 in the OSAA power rankings, tied for the conference title with Klamath Union last year.
Johnny Esqueda got the Pirates on the board in the seventh minute by winning a scramble in front of the net off a rebound of Eli Espana's shot.
Then Jose Mendez tallied in the 14th and 23rd minutes to put Phoenix (10-1-1, 9-0 Sky) ahead 3-0. Mendez's first goal — a low shot 25 yards away — came on an assist from Jose Alegria. Said Castillo assisted when Mendez put one in the net from 10 yards out.
Mazama cut the lead to 3-1 on a free kick from 18 yards by Luis Valdez in the 37th minute and scored on a free kick by Omar Cisneros at the 60th minute.
KLAMATH UNION 4, NORTH VALLEY 0 — At Klamath Falls, North Valley goalie Ryan Clarkin kept the game close before Klamath Union pulled away with two late second-half goals. Clarkin recorded nine saves.
The Pelicans led 1-0 at halftime.
Luis Serrato capitalized on a defensive mistake by the Knights (5-7, 2-5 Sky) to score the game's opening goal in the 25th minute. Sam Patterson scored a minute into the second half, and KU got a pair of goals in the final four minutes.
HENLEY 2, HIDDEN VALLEY 1 — At Klamath Falls, Sam Johnson scored two second-half goals for Henley.
The game was tied 0-0 at halftime.
ILLINOIS VALLEY 7, GLIDE 1 — At Cave Junction, junior Keith Lewin, who recently switched from defender to midfielder, recorded a hat trick to lead Illinois Valley in SCH.
John Britt knocked in two goals and Tyler Andrews and Boaz Dillon each scored for the Cougars (6-6-1, 4-3 SCH), who led 2-1 at halftime.
Goalkeeper Dakota Crew played strong against Glide (3-7, 0-6 SCH).
UMPQUA VALLEY CHRISTIAN 3, ROGUE RIVER 1 — At Rogue River, senior Joel Graham scored two goals in the second half to help Umpqua Valley Christian pull away for the District 2 victory.
For Rogue River (6-7, 3-4 Dist. 2), which was virtually eliminated from postseason contention, Shawn Donahue came up with the ball after a scramble in the box in the 32nd minute and booted it home to tie the game at 1.