North Medford High wrestling coach Phillip Lopez isn't the type to get carried away.
PORTLAND — The "learning curve" for the St. Mary's girls soccer team is pretty sharp this weekend, but the Crusaders came out of their first test with a passing grade Friday.
Rachel Raniele scored an equalizing goal in the 60th minute as St. Mary's tied two-time defending state champion Oregon Episcopal, 1-1, in the first of two matches against the Class 3A/2A/1A heavyweights. Today, the Crusaders visit Catlin Gabel, a team they edged 2-1 in last year's state quarterfinals.
OES has beaten St. Mary's in the state semifinals the past two years. In 2010, St. Mary's defeated OES in the final four, then lost to Catlin Gabel in the championship game.
"This is the learning-curve trip," said Crusaders coach Dave Potter, who added to the curriculum when he took his team to see a University of Portland women's game Friday night. "You have no choice but to jump in with both feet and do the very best you can and learn in the process. I'm proud of what the girls did in the second half. I feel real good about walking off the field with a 1-1 draw."
After a long bus ride, the Crusaders were sluggish to begin the match.
"We just couldn't get the accelerator going and struggled with the speed of play," said Potter.
But in the final 15 to 20 minutes, the Crusaders began connecting with passes and playing more like they were accustomed.
"You could just see it coming around," said Potter.
OES scored first, with Mikaelah McKinney-Griggs tallying unassisted in the 30th minute.
Twenty minutes into the second half, Ellie Hough and Raniele teamed up to knot it. Hough won the ball in a two-on-one battle just inside the corner of the 18-yard box, then dropped it 5 yards back to Raniele. Raniele one-touched it high over the goalkeeper and into the net.
"A lot of credit goes to both girls," said Potter.
His own goalies, Viv Juncal and Emily Riehlman, "came through like champions," said Potter.
Juncal played the first 60 minutes. In relief, Riehlman made a saving stop near game's end when she came out to snuff a McKinney-Griggs breakaway.
OES had 11 shots to the Crusaders' six, and three corner kicks to none for St. Mary's.
LINCOLN 3, SOUTH MEDFORD 2 — At Portland, South Medford tied up the nonleague match twice but couldn't take the lead at Lincoln High.
After the Cardinals (2-1) scored first about 20 minutes into the game, South's Brittany Jensen responded with a successful free kick to even things at 1-1.
Lincoln netted its second goal midway through the second half before Erin Riley scored to tie the match at 2-2 for the Panthers (3-2).
The Cardinals — who beat South 1-0 in a shootout in the first round of last year's Class 6A state playoffs — found the back of the net a third time late.
ROSEBURG 4, SOUTH SALEM 4 — At Salem, Mahala Norris and Claire Ibarra each had one goal and one assist for Roseburg in the nonconference game.
The Indians (1-1-1), who scored all of their goals in the first 19 minutes, also got tallies from Brighton Hebisen and Miata Minders to open a 4-1 lead.
SCHIREMAN SHINES — At Portland, North Medford senior Ray Schireman placed second in the boys 5,000-meter run at the Pier Park Invitational, a high-powered meet hosted by Jesuit.
Schireman's time was 15 minutes, 57.59 seconds, trailing only Kyle Thompson of Central Catholic (15:50.40).
North Medford placed fourth out of five teams with 93 points.
The Black Tornado's Jon Serna placed ninth in 16:22.57.
In the girls race, North Medford was fifth with 146 points. Its top placer was Jessica Pettegrew-Sam, who was 27th in 20:59.59.
BOYS TEAM SCORES — Central Catholic 33, Jesuit 65, Grant 80, North Medford 93, Camas 97.
GIRLS TEAM SCORES — St. Mary's Academy 35, Camas 51, Jesuit 59, Grant 96, North Medford 146.
PROSPECT 3, TRINITY 1 — At Prospect, Prospect downed Trinity Lutheran, 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-23, in Mountain Valley League action.
Taylor Bernhardt led the way with 13 kills and six blocks for the Cougars (3-0, 1-0 MVL).
Bailey VanWormer had seven blocks and libero Marissa Raines added 18 digs for Prospect.
TRIAD 3, BUTTE FALLS 0 — At Butte Falls, Butte Falls dropped its first Mountain Valley League match, 25-23, 26-24, 25-18 to Triad.
The Loggers (0-1 MVL) fall to 0-5 overall.
Girls Water Polo
WEST ALBANY 11, ASHLAND 2 — At Newberg, Ashland's Maddy Longshore had one goal and one assist, and Sadie Kasiah added a goal while drawing three kickouts during pool play at the 10-team Newberg Invitational.
Aubrie Georgevitch recorded four steals and one block, and goalkeeper Kaya Boehm chipped in three blocks for the Grizzlies.