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Phoenix girls open defense of title with shutout

Prep Soccer

TALENT ' Appropriately, expectations are high for the Phoenix High girls soccer team this fall.

The Pirates lost just one starter from a 2002 squad that ran the table in District 6 play for the first time in program history.

Phoenix began defense of that crown ' and mostly lived up to its potential ' with a 3-0 trouncing of Cascade Christian at Hagler-James Field on Tuesday.

In the District 6 opener for both teams, the fifth-ranked Pirates (3-2, 1-0) found their groove after a sluggish start.

Larrisa Wiltrout put Phoenix on top to stay with a 34th-minute tally, running on to a through pass from Kat Cox and finishing with her left foot.

— The Pirates padded their lead in the second half, getting Cox's unassisted effort in the 42nd minute and Kelly Riley's follow of a Marci Klimek shot that was saved in the 49th.

Our second half was stronger than our first half, as has been our pattern, said John Doty, who splits Phoenix head-coaching duties with Dan Sporrer. Once we found our composure, we were able to move the ball around fairly effortlessly and string some passes together.

Midfielders Sarah Kieffer, Alex Hanscom and Cox joined Riley and Robyn Singleton in keying the Pirates' possession game.

Fullbacks Tamara Heryford, Hallie Storey and Singleton were instrumental in shutting down the Challengers' attack. Heryford shadowed high-scoring forward Katie O'Brien with aplomb.

We're improving every game, said Doty, whose team fashioned a 17-3 cushion in shots on goal.

Cascade Christian fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in league.

ROGUE RIVER 11, ILLINOIS VALLEY 2 ' At Rogue River, freshman Nicole Shoup scored the first of three unanswered goals for Rogue River in the first half.

The Chieftains led 7-1 at the break.

Brandy Hamre and Tara Prisbrey scored two goals each for Rogue River (2-1-3, 1-1 District 6).

HIDDEN VALLEY 9, MAZAMA 0 ' At Klamath Falls, Nina Jaramillo scored three goals and Jill Elder added two as Hidden Valley opened District 6 play with a win.

Shae Ford led the Mustangs with two assists.

Hidden Valley improved to 5-0-1 overall.

Skyline Boys

MAZAMA 5, ROGUE RIVER — '

At Rogue River, Mazama took advantage of the inexperience of Rogue River first-year goal keeper Jeff McGinnis.

The Vikings led 4-0 at halftime.

Rogue River's final goal came in the last two minutes by sophomore Adam Fuller.

The Chieftains fell to 2-2 in the Skyline.

HIDDEN VALLEY 3, NORTH VALLEY 0 ' At Murphy, Hidden Valley (2-2, 2-1 Skyline) led 1-0 at halftime off a penalty kick by Kyle Lumsden and senior goal keeper Jake Supola registered his first shutout of the season.

Abner Porzio and Danny Richard added goals in the second half, with Waren Hostkoetter and Joe Guevara getting the assists.

Hidden Valley first-year coach Tim Hannah credited midfielder Hostkoetter with pressing the play and helping the Mustangs control possession.

Hidden Valley outshot North Valley, 24-9.

HENLEY 2, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0 ' At Cave Junction, Henley dropped winless Illinois Valley to 0-5 in conference.