Tornado, Panthers set stage for thrilling finish
A big game looms on the horizon for the North Medford girls soccer team.
But the Black Tornado took care of business in the interim, avenging its lone loss of the season behind two Alex Batzer goals during a 3-0 victory over Roseburg at Hoffbuhr Field on Saturday.
North is tied with South Medford for the top spot in the Southern Oregon Conference at 12-1, and the two meet at — p.m. Tuesday at North.
The winner walks away with the conference crown.
The girls are picking up their play at the right time, said Tornado coach Dick Darcy. Certainly we want to have home-field advantage (in the first round of the state playoffs).
— On Saturday, Batzer needed just one minute to break the ice and put North on top, 1-0.
Amber Wihtol added another unassisted goal in the 35th for a 2-0 lead at the half and Batzer tallied for the final time in the 54th. North Medford held an 11-5 advantage in shots on goal and benefited from 10 corner kicks.
Alex is a scrappy kid, said Darcy of his sophomore forward. She fights and digs for everything. She's going to be a very good player.
Darcy, whose team dropped a 1-0 decision to the Indians on Sept. 25, admitted he didn't have to say much to fire up the troops.
It definitely was a necessary win for us, said Darcy. We all had a bad taste in our mouths (after the first loss), so we didn't have to say much. It was a good game for us.
SOUTH MEDFORD 4, CRATER 0 ' Kaylyn Knutson and Kelsey Corbin each scored a pair of goals at Spiegelberg Stadium as South Medford (12-1 SOC) set up a showdown with rival North Medford for the league championship.
The Panthers will play at North (12-1 SOC) at — p.m. Tuesday in the final regular-season SOC contest. The Black Tornado defeated the Panthers 2-0 in an earlier season match.
Against Crater (3-10), South led 1-0 at halftime on a Knutson goal in the 18th minute off a Corbin assist.
Within two minutes of each other early in the second half, Corbin scored on a pair of perfectly executed headers. Corbin finished off a corner kick by Knutson in the 46th minute, then headed in a direct kick by Emma McConnell.
Knutson completed the scoring by booting in a ball near the left post sent in by Jill Walport.
South received strong defensive efforts by Amy Furlan and Sarah Schoenhals and senior goalkeeper Bethany Stousland.
The Panthers registered a 23-16 advantage in shots and had four corner kicks to three for Crater.
ASHLAND 3, EAGLE POINT 0 ' At Ashland, the Grizzlies scored all their goals in the first half and coasted to their fourth victory.
Jamie Roupp scored in the 24th minute off her own steal from 8-yards out. Katie Cowger scored from 25 yards in the 32nd minute, deflecting the ball off the goalkeeper. Hannah Sohl completed scoring just before the half with a give-and-go goal from Roupp.
GRANTS PASS 4, KLAMATH UNION 0 ' At Grants Pass, junior forward Megan Franko scored two goals and added an assist as Grants Pass clinched a state playoff berth for the second straight year.
The Cavers (8-5 SOC) moved into a third-place tie with Roseburg (8-5 SOC) and will play at the Indians on Tuesday. It's the sixth time in seven years Grants Pass has reached the postseason.
Grants Pass held a 2-0 halftime lead.
Franko assisted on the opening goal by Courtney Cameron in the 14th minute, and then Franko scored the first of her two goals 17 minutes later off an assist from Katelyn Van Brunt.
Franko began the second-half scoring in the 54th minute, with Megan Cardiff getting an assist.
Jill Croucher scored unassisted in the 62nd minute for the final goal.
Grants Pass outshot Klamath Union, 18-2, and sophomore Krista Klug got the shutout in goal.