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Tornado boys tip Pelicans in OT

SOC Soccer

It's a new season, and the North Medford boys soccer team may be back to its old ways.

After collapsing to 1-6 and seventh place in the Southern Oregon Conference last fall, the Black Tornado regained some of its former glory with a clutch overtime victory, 2-1, over Klamath Union on Tuesday at Hoffbuhr Field.

In the final minute of overtime, 100th overall, Branden De Luca's header dropped in behind the Pelicans' defense. Luis Cabrera ran on to the ball and beat KU goalkeeper Jose Ortega to his left, finding the side-netting.

North (3-3-2, 1-0 SOC) was determined to kick off the SOC season in style.

We know it was our home field, and we wanted to defend that, said Rich Garcia, the Tornado's 12th-year head coach. I thought we went out and made a statement.

— North enjoyed a 22-6 advantage in shots on goal, but Ortega made four key saves to keep the Pelicans (2-4, 0-1) around.

Erik Higgins gave the Tornado the lead with a 25th-minute tally. David Struckmeier sped down the left sideline and centered to Cabrera, whose one-touch pass found Higgins on the right side.

Higgins, playing right midfield, and Struckmeier, on the left flank, both entered as substitutes.

The guys coming off the bench gave me really good energy, Garcia said.

In the 35th minute, KU answered, as Breno Rocha headed home a corner kick.

The match remained 1-1 for the next 65 minutes, until Cabrera, fast becoming a difference-maker in his sophomore season, came through, courtesy of De Luca.

Oscar Benitez turned away a one-on-one in goal for North, and Max Brown, Scott Reid and Devin Torrey solidified the Tornado defense.

SOUTH MEDFORD 7, EAGLE POINT 0 ' At Eagle Point, Eric Connors scored a hat trick in the first half of an SOC victory.

Connors scored goals in the first, fifth and 12th minutes as second-ranked South Medford (6-0-1, 1-0 SOC) grabbed a 6-0 lead at the half.

Corey O'Neill added a goal and two assists, Bryan Waggener tallied a pair of assists and Spencer Hunter assisted on the final goal of the first half and capped the scoring with a goal in the 79th minute.

Bret Hamilton and Shane Holiday added goals for the Panthers.

Eagle Point dropped to 0-5-1.

ASHLAND 2, ROSEBURG — ' At Ashland, Thomas Souzra's second-minute score lifted Ashland to a lead it never relinquished in the SOC opener for both teams.

Souzra, a Brazilian exchange student, took a pass from Fabian Garcia-Flores and finished for the Grizzlies (3-3, 1-0).

The gap became 2-0 in the 76th minute, as Corey Constantino connected with Garcia-Flores, who beat a couple defenders and found the net.

Roseburg (3-4, 0-1) responded the next minute, as Erik Fabrizius drove home a goal assisted by Quentin Clark.

Ashland built a 15-7 edge in shots on goal and received key saves from goalkeepers Justin Greenberg and Joel Silverman.

GRANTS PASS 2, CRATER 0 ' At Grants Pass, junior striker Adam Ortiz scored 2&

189; minutes into the match and senior outside midfielder Joel Janke connected three minutes later, igniting Grants Pass to an early lead it never relinquished.

Sophomore striker Aaryn Walsh assisted on both goals.

Junior Travis Biller registered the shutout in goal for the Cavemen in their SOC opener. Grants Pass improved its overall record to 4-2-1 with the win.

Girls

NORTH MEDFORD 6, KLAMATH UNION — ' At Klamath Falls, Nicole Vilarino's hat trick helped North Medford roll to an SOC-opening rout.

The Black Tornado (5-2-1, 1-0 SOC) started the scoring on Justine Lawson's 18-yard drive in the 15th minute.

Vilarino then deposited headers off corner kicks from Emily Gross in the 30th and 35th minutes.

Klamath Union (1-4, 0-1) pulled within 3-1 on Jenna Fay's goal off an Ashley Wendt assist in the 37th minute.

Vilarino completed her hat trick in the 50th minute, assisted by Amber Wihtol.

Karen Thiebes got into the act in the 60th, with Kelly Vilarino notching the assist.

Kim Tiger ended the scoring with a solo effort.

ROSEBURG 1, ASHLAND 0, Shootout '

At Roseburg, Carli Godard, Kayla Schroeder, Sarah Lindbloom and Michelle Davis drilled penalty kicks and Allison Radar saved two to lift Roseburg to a shootout victory.

The Indians (3-4, 1-0 SOC), who practice penalty kicks against their boys team, finished the shootout, 4-2, in four rounds.

Godard led an attack that posted a 25-7 edge in shots on goal. Her left-footed try narrowly missed late in overtime, when Roseburg created an 8-2 shots advantage.

Val Groshong and Beth David were the Indians' defensive stalwarts.

Central defenders Laura Newton and Tess Golling played brilliantly on defense for the Grizzlies, who fell to 3-3-1 overall and 0-1 in the SOC.