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Balanced Grizzlies shred Comets in MWL blowout

If it was tempted to relax against an obviously overmatched opponent, the Ashland High boys soccer team certainly didn’t show it.

The streaking Grizzlies scored five goals in the first half and had five assists on the day in a 7-0 dismantling of Crater on Tuesday at North Mountain Park.

The win was Ashland’s sixth in a row and improved the Grizzlies to 6-3 overall and 2-0 in the Midwestern League. Crater fell to 1-7 and 0-2.

Lucas Golding had a goal and two assists, Ben Lucero and Bryce Rollins each scored twice and Ian Rinefort had a goal and an assist as the Grizzlies continued a streak that began Sept. 16 and now includes two lopsided victories over the Comets.

“The team is playing full games now,” Ashland coach Brad Roupp said. “We started out not playing complete games and we have now finished six in a row and that’s a lot of progress. The last two weeks we have worked on our attacking style and playmaking and a lot of these goals were assisted goals. You get the ball, you give the ball and you get it back and that’s working for us.”

It certainly did again Tuesday.

The onslaught began in the 14th minute. That’s when Rinefort pushed the ball across the goal to Lucero for a freshman connection that produced a six-yard goal for Lucero.

Twelve minutes later the Grizzlies struck again on an identical play from the other side. This time, Cole Coster delivered a perfect pass to Rollins, whose finish made it 2-0.

In the second half Ashland pulled away then piled on.

Golding’s rocket in the 44th couldn’t be corralled by the Crater goalkeeper and bounced out to Lucero, who shot it in from six yards out for a 3-0 lead.

Four minutes later Golding passed to Rinefort, who beat the keeper from 12 yards away for 4-0. In the 55th, a free kick from about 24 yards away led to a scramble in the box and Graycen Kennedy wound up with the ball and used his left foot to make it 5-0.

Golding’s breakaway led to the next goal, as he dribbled down the left side before beating the keeper one on one and pounding the ball into the right side of the net.

Ashland’s final goal came in the 77th when Rollins scored his second goal of the day. This time he took advantage of a through ball from defender David Lehrburger and shot below the keeper for the final score.

The Grizzlies now will try to make it seven in a row Friday at Churchill (3-4-1). The game will be a rematch of the 2008 Class 5A state championship match, which the Lancers won.

Girls Soccer

At Central Point, Ashland pulverized Crater, scoring six goals in the first 16 minutes en route to a 10-1 Midwestern Conference victory on Tuesday at Dutch Meyer Field.

Faci Graham and Samantha Lilley scored two goals apiece and the other six were spread out as the Grizzlies (8-1-1, 2-0 MWL) raced out to a 7-0 halftime lead to increase their winning streak to six games.

“We were very efficient putting the ball in the net today and I think their keeper was getting flustered,” Ashland coach Eric Wolff said. “The score doesn’t reflect how good Crater is. Crater was working hard. We just got on a roll.”

Crater (4-5, 1-1) has now lost two games to Ashland by a combined score of 17-1.

Graham made sure Ashland took charge from the get-go, scoring the first goal of the game in the fifth and the second one minute later to give the Grizzlies a quick 2-0 lead.

Mikaela Perry headed in a long cross in the ninth to make it a three-goal game, and the Grizzlies scored three goals by Jessica Harrower, Lilley and Maya Timmons in a three-minute span to make it 6-0.

Hailee Hayes tacked on goal No. 7 in the 20th, and Tia Wilhelm completed Ashland’s first-half barrage in the 40th.

Crater finally got on the board in the 53rd, but Ashland’s Lilley got it right back in the 70th and Mya Elder Hammond also scored for Ashland in the 74th.

“The girls were in a great mood today,” Wolff said. “They were light on their feet and passing really well.”

Joe Zavala can be reached at 541-776-4469 or jzavala@dailytidings.com.