Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
With a handful of recent runaway wins on their résumé, the St. Mary's girls soccer team was looking for a challenge and they got exactly that Saturday at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
Cascade Christian battled the Crusaders to a scoreless tie through the first half but couldn't complete the task in the final 40 minutes as St. Mary's gradually pulled away for a 3-0 victory.
Abby Coughlin, Emily Elmore and Lilli Knudsen each scored for the Crusaders (10-1-2, 8-0 Dist. 4) in the second half on the eve of the school's homecoming dance.
"It was an exceptional high school soccer match," said St. Mary's head coach Dave Potter. "I'm very appreciative of the fact Cascade Christian came out and gave us the match they did. We needed a stiff competition and they delivered. Both teams showed up ready to compete and put everything they had on the field. It was just a fun match to be part of."
With the win, the Crusaders secured at least a share of the District 4 title, with a two-game edge on Glide with two league games remaining.
Viv Juncal earned the shutout in goal, but the chances for Cascade Christian (8-4-1, 5-3) were limited thanks to a defensive effort sparked by the back line of Rose Alvarez, Sophia Dewing, Samantha Weiland and Emily Frank.
Coughlin's goal in the 46th minute came after a 35-yard delivery from Rachel Raniele to the corner flag that Ellie Hough somehow got to just before the end line and one-touched a pass across to a charging Coughlin.
"It was a beautiful piece of work by three different players," said Potter.
Elmore received a 35-yard diagonal pass from Taylor Holton in the 60th and was just able to slip a shot past Challengers keeper Jessica Weber. Allie Buccino set up the final goal in the 64th with a strong cross that was headed in by Knudsen.
ROGUE RIVER 4, LAKEVIEW 0 — At Rogue River, Annie Teehan went for two goals to lead Rogue River in District 4 action.
Larissa Hamilton and Hannah DuPont also scored for the Chieftains (2-8, 2-6 Dist. 4), who led 1-0 at halftime.
Becca Emerson was aggressive in goal against Lakeview (0-9, 0-8).
GLIDE 2, ILLINOIS VALLEY 1, SO — At Cave Junction, Glide earned a 4-2 edge in a penalty kick shootout to determine the outcome in District 4 action.
Kenndra Ferry and Mikael Cusumano each converted their shootout goals for Illinois Valley (5-7, 3-5 Dist. 4).
After her team fell behind 1-0, Ferry tied up the match in the 75th minute against the Wildcats (7-4-1, 6-2).
Southern Oregon Hybrid
SUMMIT 4, NORTH MEDFORD 3 — At Bend, Class 6A North Medford came up a little short against the defending 5A state champions in nonleague action.
Summit's Megan Cornett netted the game-winning goal during stoppage time late in the second half.
Amanda Hisey had a pair of goals for North. Her score in the 38th minute tied the match at 2 and her second gave the Black Tornado (7-4-1) the lead in the 42nd.
Summit (11-0-2) evened the score in the 71st.
North's Halley Folsom tallied on a Meghan Cowan assist in the 35th.
Hadie Plummer opened the scoring with a goal for the Storm in the 15th.
Center midfielders Morgan Barry and Sarah Thomas recorded strong efforts and goalkeeper Bailey O'Connor made several tough saves for the Black Tornado, which outshot Summit 13-6.
ASHLAND 2, GRANTS PASS 1 — At Ashland, Ashland's Samantha Lilley vaulted the ball ahead to herself before launching in the go-ahead goal at the top of the penalty box in the 68th minute in nonleague action at North Mountain Park.
Grants Pass (1-7-2) got on the scoreboard first in the 17th minute. Tayo Mulholland evened things at 1-all with a boot from 8 yards out in the 35th minute. Jessy Harrower had the assist for the Grizzlies (6-3-2).
NORTH VALLEY 6, PHOENIX 0 — At Merlin, North Valley senior striker Venessa D'Arpino recorded a hat trick in Skyline Conference action.
Tishonna Bernacel, Rochelle Banta and Emily Field each also scored for the Knights (9-2-1, 7-1 Sky), who led 2-0 at halftime.
Kerissa D'Arpino dished out two assists against Phoenix (3-9, 0-8).
KLAMATH UNION 1, HIDDEN VALLEY 0 — At Klamath Falls, Tori Dykstra netted the game-winning goal for Klamath Union in Skyline Conference action.
The Mustangs (2-10, 2-6 Sky) were tagged with a handball penalty in the box about midway through the match, setting up Dykstra's score for the Pelicans, who improved to 8-3-1 and 6-2 in Skyline play.