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Panthers' Bates gives Pelicans the boot

It was only fitting that the star defensive player for the South MedfordPanthers was given a chance to win the match with her foot.

Goalie Amber Bates, who shut out Klamath Union for 80 minutes of regulationplay and 10 minutes of overtime, slammed through a goal in sudden deathovertime to lead the Panthers to a 1-0 victory over Klamath Union at DistrictField.

It was the Southern Oregon Conference opener for both teams.

Holding them in the shootout took a lot of pressure off me,said Bates, so I knew it was up to me to take care of it myself.

The score was tied 0-0 at the end of regulation and after the overtimeperiod, forcing a shootout to decide the outcome.

South's Megan Sharp, Marissa Gillingham and Sonya Miller all scored inthe shootout only to be matched by Klamath Union. Pelican goalie Anita Sagunskysent the match into sudden death with an untouched kick past the outreachedhands of Bates.

Neither team had much of an offensive attack, but strong defense on bothsides made sure of that.

We had lots corner kicks that we failed to capitalize on, and shotswe needed to make, said Panthers forward Darcy Maukonen. ``We couldhave played better, but at least we won.

Klamath Union kept the Panthers' offense away from the goal when it counted.

Our defense really played tough today, Klamath Union coachGerrin DeGroot said.

DeGroot praised midfielder Monika Bilka and Sarah Beggs for their defensiveefforts.

South came close to scoring at the end of regulation when freshman forwardEmily Perttu made a mad dash to the goal only to be taken out on a slidetackle by Klamath Union's Jennifer Ostrick. Perttu's charge capped off threeshots in a row on goal for South, but Klamath Union goalie Sagunsky stoppedthem all.

We came out in the second half with better possessions and combinedour shots better, but we let our chances on goal slip away,'' said Southcoach Dave Potter.

Amber Bates played great in goal today and she had the opportunityto win it for us and she did.

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