When he was putting together his initial football staff at North Medford High, Mike Mitchell put a particularly different spin on his...
St. Mary's head girls soccer coach Dave Potter and his Crusaders have captured plenty of league championships, but the program's fifth straight crown — earned Tuesday — felt just a little sweeter.
Lilli Knudsen, Amber Moore and Rachel Raniele all scored goals as St. Mary's defeated Glide 3-0 to secure the Southern Cascade Hybrid title at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
The Crusaders (9-2-3, 7-0 SCH) have won five consecutive championships in the SCH, District 4 and District 6 leagues.
"It feels really special with this group for this reason," Potter explained. "We lost 11 seniors this year. I thought people thought we would be down, but these girls never believed it or recognized it. They have worked hard and been true in training and played up to whatever level we've thrown at them."
Knudsen accepted a cross from Emily Elmore and scored in the 22nd minute. The goal was created by the skillful play of Emily Frank, who avoided several defenders, dribbled through pressure in the midfield and forwarded the ball to Elmore.
"We were a little slow but built some momentum," Potter said.
Marybeth Barnum played a ball into the box in the 46th minute, and Moore beat a handful of defenders to it and punched in a far-post shot.
Raniele put St. Mary's up 3-0 in the 48th minute on a quick cross by Moore.
Viv Juncal earned the shutout for the Crusaders, who beat Glide (9-2, 4-2 SCH) 7-0 on Sept. 29.
ILLINOIS VALLEY 1, ROGUE RIVER 0 — At Cave Junction, Alex Manninen scored the deciding goal on a penalty kick for Illinois Valley in SCH play.
Amanda Brooks crossed the ball toward the mouth of the Rogue River goal and a hand ball was called, helping to set up Manninen's score in the 45th minute.
Goalkeeper Chawna Crawford made six saves for Illinois Valley (5-6, 2-4 SCH) against the Chieftains (0-9-1, 0-7).
ROSEBURG 2, NORTH MEDFORD 1 — At Roseburg, Roseburg built a 2-0 lead by halftime at Finlay Field and made its advantage last to upset North Medford, which was previously undefeated in the Southern Oregon Hybrid.
Tristen Gilbert netted a goal in the 16th minute and Miata Winders added the other score in the 38th minute for the Indians (6-5-1, 5-1-1 SOH). Both were one vs. one situations with the goalkeeper, and assists were offered up by Emily Roy and Brittany Eggers respectively.
North Medford's Chely Jimenez cut the deficit to a goal in the 55th minute, settling a loose ball in traffic and depositing it into the lower right corner of the net from about 18 yards out.
Amanda Hisey had an attempt ricochet off the top of the post in the 21st minute for the Black Tornado (9-3, 6-1 SOH).
GRANTS PASS 2, CRATER 1 — At Grants Pass, Grants Pass' Maci Jokumsen knocked in two goals in Southern Oregon Hybrid play.
Dalyn McCauley evened the match on a penalty kick in the 20th minute for Crater (0-11-1, 0-8 SOH).
Jokumsen's goals came on assists from Jessica Jordan in the third minute and Heidi Strand in the 30th minute for Grants Pass (4-6-3, 2-4-1 SOH).
ASHLAND 1, SOUTH MEDFORD 0 — Ashland's Jessica Harrower booted in the eventual game-winning shot early on a pass from Aspen Wolff in nonleague play.
Kasydie Winner played strong as a central defender for the Grizzlies (6-5-1).
For South Medford, midfielders Sarah Kapple and Hannah Kapple and forward Brittney Jensen turned in tough efforts. Desiree Lakin had a shot hit the cross bar for the Panthers (6-4-2).
HIDDEN VALLEY 2, HENLEY 0 — At Klamath Falls, Cedar Wilkening had a goal and an assist for Hidden Valley.
The Mustangs (9-4, 6-3 Sky) struck in the fourth minute on a goal by Emily Murphy off a pass from Wilkening.
Wilkening scored unassisted in the 47th minute.
Hidden Valley got strong defense from Kaelyn Trader, Tori Fretz, Alyssa Byrd and Micali Miguel. Goalie Morgan Hansen had four saves.
KLAMATH UNION 3, NORTH VALLEY 2 — At Merlin, Klamath Union rallied with two second-half goals on a muddy field at Knights Coliseum.
North Valley led 2-1 at halftime.
Tori Dykstra's goal in the 15th minute gave Klamath Union (8-3-1, 6-3 Sky) the initial lead, then the Knights (7-5-1, 4-5) answered with two goals in two minutes. Vanessa D'Arpino converted off an Alexis Scott assist in the 34th, followed by a Kylie McElheran goal.
Jessica Bocchi squared the score 2-all about seven minutes into the second half. Jackie Gardner boomed in a shot from about 25 yards out for the game-winner in the 70th.