Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
North Medford dominated first-half play then settled in to stave off West Salem's comeback attempt in the second half to earn a 2-1 win in nonconference boys soccer Saturday at Hoffbuhr Field.
The Black Tornado (2-0-2) got first-half goals from Garrett Byrd and Christian Siordia and limited the Titans to one shot on goal in the opening half.
West Salem scored on a nice effort from 18 yards out in the 54th minute to trim its deficit, but everything else was turned away by goalkeeper Eric Benitez, who received solid support on the left side by Louis Michelon and Carter Ehlers.
"In the second half we took the gas off a little," said North head coach Michael Belzberg. "After we gave up the goal it was a tight game from there on out."
Byrd's goal came in the second minute off a nice give-and-go series from Manny Mejia, with Byrd netting a shot from 7 yards out.
Siordia's goal was set up by a nice through ball from Austin Schoenmann, who found Siordia as he split a pair of defenders downfield for a 2-0 advantage.
HIDDEN VALLEY 3, ILLINOIS VALLEY 1 — At Murphy, Mike'l Andreasen, Zach Perrin and Owen Stevens all scored for Hidden Valley in nonleague action.
Ethan Clark netted a goal on an assist from Keith Lewin in the 50th minute for Illinois Valley (0-4), which trailed 1-0 at halftime.
The Mustangs improved to 2-0-1.
WEST SALEM 5, NORTH MEDFORD 3 — At Salem, Halley Folsom had a hat trick and North Medford owned a second-half lead before West Salem scored three unanswered goals in nonleague play.
Goals by Paula Labate and Anna Norrenberns put the Titans (4-0) ahead, 2-0, before Folsom scored on a Morgan Barry assist with 15:52 remaining in the first half.
With 15 seconds to go before halftime, Barry again found Folsom on a corner kick to tie the game for North (1-1-2).
Folsom scored unassisted two minutes into the second half before West Salem's Katie Fan answered with a goal. Labate and Norrenberns then netted their second goals of the match in the final 25 minutes.
SOUTH MEDFORD 1, CLEVELAND 0 — At Portland, South Medford's Brittany Jensen netted the go-ahead goal in the 55th minute of the nonleague match.
Jensen accepted a throw-in, shook off a defender and snuck the ball in near post.
Haylie Durant helped the Panthers (4-2) set up their offense and keep Cleveland (1-2-1) at bay.
ASHLAND 3, SPRINGFIELD 1 — At Ashland, Ashland opened a 2-0 advantage en route to its first victory at North Mountain Park.
Julia Wilson scored in the 32nd minute on a 24-yard blast off a chest trap from Samantha Lilley to give the Grizzlies (1-1-1) a 1-0 lead at halftime. Sadie Bailey then tallied in the 42nd minute off a pass from Tayo Mulholland.
After Springfield (1-1) scored in the 60th minute on a long-range shot, Ashland created some cushion with a goal eight minutes later when Ia Balbuena's free kick skimmed off a defender's head and into the net.
EAGLE POINT 4, ROGUE RIVER 0 — Coreina Torres tallied two goals and Eagle Point received one goal apiece from Makenzie Nelson and Mayra Avina to remain unbeaten with the nonleague victory.
Ali Nesberg secured the shutout in goal for the Eagles (2-0-1), who led 2-0 at halftime and had a majority of ball possession against Rogue River (0-2).
CATLIN GABEL 1, ST. MARY'S 0 — At Portland, Kaelin Immel scored the go-ahead goal in the 67th minute for Catlin Gabel in nonleague action.
With St. Mary's focused more on the throw-in attempt, Immel was freed up to cut across the goal mouth and knock in an attempt from 18 yards out.
After that, MaryBeth Barnum, Emily Alvarez and Emily Elmore all had close scoring chances for the Crusaders (1-1-2).
Goalkeeper Viv Juncal, who played 60 minutes, made several difficult saves and Emily Frank was strong in the midfield for St. Mary's.
The Crusaders outshot Catlin Gabel (3-2), 10-6, and earned a 5-3 corner-kick advantage.