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...
MERLIN — Phoenix built a comfortable lead, then had to hold on as North Valley stormed back in Skyline Conference boys soccer.
The Pirates won 3-2, but not before North Valley rallied from a 3-0 deficit with 55 minutes to play.
"We really battled," said Phoenix coach Dennis Flenner, whose team improved to 3-2-1 overall and 3-0 in league. "Those guys are tough as nails this year."
Guadeloupe Flores made a nice shot from 12 yards out in the 55th minute, getting an assist from Alex Vela, to make it 3-0.
But two minutes later, North Valley's Heitor Almeida hit an 18-footer to the far post that sparked the Knights (3-2-1, 1-2).
In the 65th minute, Almeida got behind the defense and scored after going one-on-one with the goalie.
"One of the things that envelops life in a team is when they think they can score," said Flenner. "They weren't lucky goals. They were pretty goals. We were trying to get them out of the game, and until he scored, we were in good shape."
The game tightened and it got more physical down the stretch. Five cards were issued — one red and four yellow. The red forced Phoenix to play a man down over the final 12 minutes.
"The momentum just changed," said Flenner.
The Pirates' other goals were by Ezequiel Flores in the sixth minute, off a pass from Johnny Esqueda, and on a penalty kick by Jose Mendez in the 48th minute after Ezequiel Flores was taken down in the box.
HIDDEN VALLEY 4, KLAMATH UNION 1 — At Klamath Falls, Abraham Martinez scored twice as Hidden Valley won the Skyline game.
Martinez scored unassisted in the 39th minute to make it 2-1 in favor of the Mustangs (5-1-1, 2-1 Sky) at halftime and tallied on a free kick in the 68th minute.
Hidden Valley's other goals were by Owen Stevens, on a flip throw-in assist from Zach Perrin, in the 22nd minute, and by Seth Trader in the 62nd.
GRANTS PASS 1, ROSEBURG 0 — At Roseburg, Nathan Trujillo's goal in the 37th minute boosted Grants Pass in the SOH contest.
Trujillo was assisted on the play by Trenton Anderson as the Cavemen improved to 4-2-3 overall and 3-1 in league.
ROSEBURG 3, GRANTS PASS 1 — At Grants Pass, Claire Ibarra scored with less than a minute left and had an assist on Roseburg's first goal to lead the Indians (4-3-1, 3-1 SOH).
Ibarra's tally came on a quick-strike free kick that sailed over the keeper. It resembled Grants Pass' score, when Shelby DeRocher fired a free kick as Roseburg was still getting set and scored with 30 seconds left in the first half.
Kara Krnacik, with a pass from Ibarra, and Emily Roy scored in the 12th and 16th minutes, respectively.
The Cavers are 1-4-1 and 1-3.
Skyline Conference Girls
NORTH VALLEY 3, PHOENIX 1 — At Phoenix, the D'Arpino twins scored all the goals for North Valley in the Skyline game.
Kerissa D'Arpino tallied in the 15th and 72nd minutes, and Venessa D'Arpino bent in a corner kick in the 54th for the Knights (5-1-1, 3-0 Sky).
Facie Graham, who played a strong game on defense after being moved back to challenge the speedy D'Arpinoes, scored the lone goal for the Pirates (3-4, 0-3) in the 66th on a penalty kick.
District 4 Girls
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 8, LAKEVIEW 0 — At Lakeview, Alex Torano had a hat trick, scoring two of her three goals in the first half, as Cascade Christian rebounded with a solid showing following a loss Saturday to rival St. Mary's.
It was 4-0 at halftime.
The Challengers (6-2-1, 3-1 Dist. 4) got a goal from Torano seven minutes into the second half to complete the hat trick. Katelyn Stephens and Evie Kent each scored twice, and Erika Worthington, tallying six seconds before halftime, score the other.
Jolee Rivas had the lone assist.
Lakeview didn't have a shot on target.