Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
PORTLAND — At the outset, North Medford coach Emily Miller liked what she saw as her girls soccer team matched up with Grant in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Tuesday.
But that feeling disappeared after the Generals, seeded fifth to the Black Tornado's 12th, scored a 3-0 victory to advance to the quarterfinals.
North Medford ended the season with a 9-5-2 record.
"When the game started off, we had a lot of energy and really dominated possession," said Miller. "I was really kind of amazed at how slow Grant looked. I thought we had this game made."
Grant (10-3-2) hadn't mounted a threat until the 30th minute, when sophomore Jessie Ray made an alert move following a goal kick by the Black Tornado, intercepted the ball and played a nice shot into the net.
"It was just a hustle play on her part, and on our part it was just not communicating," said Miller.
The Generals added another goal early in the second half by Hannah Griffiths-Boston, and Leighton Paul closed the scoring in the 63rd, winning a one-on-one matchup to set up a goal.
North Medford had a couple good chances thereafter, including a nice assist from Amanda Hisey to Halley Folsom for a near-miss shot. The Black Tornado outshot Grant, 12-4.
"It was a really physical game," said Miller. "They're a tough team and they wanted it."
North Medford loses six seniors off the team.
SHELDON 1, SOUTH MEDFORD 0, SO — At Eugene, Sheldon out shot South Medford 3-1 on penalty kicks in the shootout in the state second-round playoff game.
South Medford, the Southern Oregon Hybrid co-champion, finished the season at 11-3-1.
Sheldon (11-3-2), which beat South 4-0 on Sept. 10, advances to a quarterfinal round game Saturday against Tualatin.
South Medford coach Chris Hollejwin said the Panthers played one of their best games of the season against the senior-loaded Irish, which played a player down for the last 15 minutes of regulation plus the 20-minute overtime session.
South's Franny Gomez was the only Panther to connect on her penalty kick attempt, as Sheldon keeper Kylee O'Connor came through with three saves.
WILSONVILLE 3, ASHLAND 1 — At Wilsonville, Ashland sophomore Jessica Harrower tied the game with a close-range shot in the 57th minute but Wilsonville came right back with a goal two minutes later and that proved to be enough in the Class 5A state first-round match.
Harrower scored off a nice assist by senior Sadie Bailey, who streaked down the sideline to draw three defenders before crossing to her open teammate.
In the 59th, Riley Johnson gained control of a loose ball in the box and kicked it in to give the Wildcats (11-3-1) the lead for good. Courtney Antonson added an insurance goal in the 78th as Ashland (9-4-2) pushed forward in an attempt to tie the game.
The loss snapped the Grizzlies' five-game winning streak, which included a 2-1 play-in win over Lebanon on Saturday.
GLADSTONE 2, NORTH VALLEY 0 — At Gladstone, Gladstone broke a scoreless tie in the 60th minute and added an insurance goal eight minutes later to eliminate North Valley in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
North Valley (10-5-1) was led by midfielders Kerissa and Venessa D'Arpino and Tishonna Bernacel.
Gladstone's first goal came from about 25 yards out. The shot barely beat North Valley keeper Lexi Pittman, who managed to get a fingertip on the ball before it sailed into the net.
The win was the eighth in a row for Gladstone (12-1-2), which advances to Saturday's quarterfinal round.
CORBETT 1, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 0, SO — At Gresham, Cascade Christian and Corbett played virtually even through regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods, but the Cardinals pulled out the Class 3A/2A/1A playoff game on penalty kicks at Barlow High.
After all five initial shooters converted for both teams, Corbett won the match on the sixth penalty kick.
The Challengers complete the season with a 10-5-1 record.