EUGENE — Angus Stringer and Justice Evans scored back-to-back goals, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the South Medford boys soccer team from losing 5-2 to South Eugene on Friday in a match that was both the Southwest Conference opener and the season opener for the Panthers.
Fielding a highly inexperienced team (only two seniors on the roster) that had been confined to practicing indoors due to smoky conditions from regional wildfires, first-year coach Claudio Villa said South Medford (0-1, 0-1 SWC) was predictably shaky at the beginning of the match.
The Panthers allowed three goals within the first 10 minutes to fall behind 3-0 against a solid, experienced squad from South Eugene (2-0, 1-0).
Stringer scored South’s first goal in the 40th minute on a nice give-and-go from midfield, playing a low shot from 18 yards over the outstretched hands of South Eugene’s goalie, to make it 3-1 at halftime.
Evans scored in the 60th minute after he recovered the ball near the South Eugene goal and beat the goalie from 10 yards out.
South Eugene, however, responded with goals in the 66th and 70th minutes to put the game out of range.
Jude Pannell, a freshman goalie, made several great saves and played solid overall, Villa said.
“We’re young, but I think we’re pretty talented,” Villa said.
South is slated to host crosstown rival North Medford today at 1 p.m., depending on air quality. The decision on whether or not to play the match is expected to be made by 10 a.m., Villa said.
ST. MARY’S 5, HENLEY 2: At Klamath Falls, Meghan Michels had four goals to lead St. Mary’s past Henley in a nonleague match.
Sara Klott had a pair of assists, Ibixica Alvarez also had an assist and Gabby Castillo scored on a penalty kick for St. Mary’s (1-1), which traded two goals with Henley (1-2) before pulling away with three straight goals in the second half.
Adrien Birmingham played the first half in goal and Zoe Alftine played the second for St. Mary’s, each allowing one goal. It was Alftine’s first time playing the position.
Gabbi Jansen and Mia Groff each scored a goal and Haley Willmott had an assist for Henley, which hosted the match outdoors after the air quality was deemed sufficient.
EAGLE POINT 3, SPRINGFIELD 2: At Eagle Point, Ryleigh Gainey served the final four points in the fifth game to boost Eagle Point in the Midwestern League match, 25-14, 24-26, 16-25, 28-26, 17-15.
For the Eagles (2-1, 1-1 MWL), Gainey had 15 kills, 10 aces and 33 digs, and Aly Scheffler had seven kills, six aces and 20 digs.
Nauvoo Beal contributed 12 aces, 29 digs and 24 assists for Eagle Point, and Emmalee Stevens 35 digs and 13 aces.
MARIST 3, ASHLAND 2: At Eugene, Ashland’s Alex Crane registered 17 kills, five aces and four digs but the Grizzlies didn’t have enough in the tank in the fifth set as Marist got the edge with a 25-18, 24-26, 22-25, 25-21, 15-5 Midwestern League victory.
Emily Devall provided 12 kills and 14 digs for the Grizzlies (1-2, 1-1 MWL), who received 17 digs from Sydney Philpott and six kills from Lili Smith.
NORTH LAKE 3, PROSPECT 0: At Prospect, sophomore middle Cassidy Bridges contributed a solid all-around performance with 12 digs, four kills and three blocks as Prospect was swept 25-13, 25-17, 25-22 by North Lake to open its Mountain Valley League season.
Co-setters Annalee Breiholz (four aces, 20 assists), a freshman, and Lexy Stockebrand (eight digs, 16 assists), a sophomore, both were standouts for the Cougars (0-2, 0-1 MVL).
HOSANNA CHRISTIAN 3, BUTTE FALLS 0: At Klamath Falls, Butte Falls (1-2) wasn’t able to keep up with Hosanna Christian, which came away with a 25-11, 25-14, 25-3 win.