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Perkinson, Raider men triumph at invite

ESTACADA — Three weeks away from the Cascade Conference meet, the Southern Oregon University men's cross country team continued to close in on its championship form Saturday morning with a win at the Lewis & Clark Invite.

Raider senior Jessa Perkinson, meanwhile, left no doubts about her readiness for the stretch run after pulling a disappearing act on the rest of the women's field in a 21-second triumph.

Against NCAA Division III competition at McIver Park, the Raider men — tied at No. 1 in this week's latest NAIA rankings — were pushed by Carleton (Minn.) but came on top by a 38-30 margin in the 11-team, 8,000-meter race. The next team in the standings, Lewis & Clark, was a distance third with 115 points.

All five scorers for both Carleton and SOU finished among the top 13 in the 116-person field. Connor Cushman led the Raiders for the second time this season, placing third overall in 25 minutes 1 second. Ryan Alexander was fifth (25:05.0), Noah Oberriter sixth (25:06.1), Ray Schireman ninth (25:25.0) and Kevin Poteracke 11th (25:36.6).

For Alexander, who missed SOU's most recent outing on Sept. 30 at Sacramento State due to illness, the time was a 36-second improvement over his only other race this season at University of Washington's Sundodger Invitational.

The next five Raiders finished within 14 seconds of each other from 21st to 29th place: Kevin VanDyke (26:11.5, 21st), Alex Harbert (26:11.5, 22nd), Caleb Diaz (26:16.1, 25th), Ben Stevens (26:22.2, 27th) and Brandon Kelsey (26:24.9, 29th).

SOU's women, down one spot to sixth in this week's NAIA rankings, competed without their No. 2, Kayle Blackmore, but managed to claim fifth of 12 in the team standings.

That was in large part thanks to Perkinson, who completed the 6K course in 21:11.8 — easily clearing runner-up Kayla Leland of Whitworth's time of 21:32.3. Jenna Storms also gave the Raiders a boost: After improving her time by 29 seconds from SOU's first to its second race, she chopped another 42 off to finish in 23:09.3 for 25th place.

Men's Soccer

SOUTHERN OREGON 0, EVERGREEN STATE 0: At Olympia, Wash., Evergreen State (Wash.) did what it does best — avoided a loss.

The first regular-season scoreless draw in Raider history was also SOU's second tie against the Geoducks in as many seasons. Over the last two years, the Geoducks (5-3-4, 4-2-3 Cascade Conference) have played to a draw in seven CCC games; only one other team has tied even four.

The result could prove costly for the Raiders (8-6-1, 8-1-1), who on Friday got some help in first place when Rocky Mountain (7-1 CCC) became the first team to knock of Corban (6-1-1). The winner of the CCC regular-season title receives an automatic bid to the NAIA's national tournament, and SOU will own a tiebreaker over Rocky but not Corban if it comes down to that.

Still, the shutout was the Raiders' eighth in conference play and their fourth in a row. Keeper Wyatt Zabinksi made three saves to secure it.

Over 110 minutes, the Raiders generated six shots on goal, including the only two of the overtime periods. Sean McManamon and Renee Resendez accounted for two apiece.

Three regular-season games are left. SOU plays next Saturday at Oregon Tech, then hosts Providence (Mont.) and Carroll (Mont.) on Oct. 27 and 28.

ROGUE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 2, LANE 0: At Eugene, Rogue Community College secured a playoff berth for the first time in program history during Northwest Athletic Conference play.

Alex Bauer scored on a Jose Mendoza assist in the 12th minute and Stenley Graham added a goal in the 62nd minute for the Ospreys (7-1-1, 6-0-1 NWAC), who sit in first place in the South Division. Goalkeeper Alex Thornhill collected four saves in his second start and first shutout of the year.

The Titans dropped to 4-7, 2-5 in league.

Women's Soccer

SOUTHERN OREGON 1, EVERGREEN STATE 0: At Olympia, Wash., freshman forward Rachel Henley picked an opportune spot for her first career goal.

The Raiders (8-6, 5-3 Cascade Conference) — who on Friday gave up two goals in the final 15 minutes to lose a lead at Northwest (Wash.) — avenged themselves against the Geoducks (0-9-2, 0-6-1) and picked up a weekend split thanks to Henley's unassisted score in the 79th minute.

The product of Reno, Nevada, struck from 12 yards out on a shot that was deflected but still got over the outstretched arms of Evergreen keeper Emily Sorenson.

The win was SOU's fourth of the 1-0 variety in conference play this season.

Henley, who played 17 minutes off the bench, entered the day without a collegiate point and became the sixth Raider to record a game-winner. She, Kelsey Randall and Aislinn Waite had SOU's only shots on goal.

The Geoducks were stymied too, though, with only three shots that required saves. Hannah Ceciliani took care of them for her fifth shutout.

SOU has shut out Evergreen in three consecutive meetings.

Behind Eastern Oregon (6-0 CCC), Corban (5-2-1) and Rocky Mountain (4-2), the Raiders remained one of five teams in the CCC standings with three losses. They play next Saturday at Oregon Tech, which is another one of the five.

ROGUE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 2, CHEMEKETA 0: Haley Janky had a goal and an assist for Rogue Community College during Northwest Athletic Conference action.

The Ospreys (2-6-2, 2-4-2 NWAC) and Chemeketa (4-6-3, 2-5-2) were scoreless at halftime before Logan Billy's goal in the 59th minute.

Volleyball

SOUTHERN OREGON 3, WALLA WALLA 0: At Ashland, Southern Oregon made its second sweep of last-place Walla Walla (Wash.) in seven days quick and painless.

Freshman middle Elliott Cook starred in SOU's breezy 25-6, 25-14, 25-9 victory with 11 kills on 18 swings and four blocks. She, along with Taylor Ristvedt (9 kills, 13 attacks, 4 blocks), Dani Johnson (9 kills, 18 attacks) and Ariana Sattler (5 kills, 9 attacks), brought the Raiders to a .462 attacking average, their highest in a single match since the 2012 season.

The Raiders went to 11-7 overall and 8-5 in the Cascade Conference. They stand in sixth place but have the same number of losses as fifth-place Northwest Christian and just one more than the next two teams above them, College of Idaho and Northwest.

For the first time this season, they never trailed in the match and were only tied at one point: 1-1 in the first set.