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MEN'S SOCCER: SOU falls to Menlo

ATHERTON, Calif. — Tim Staerz tallied a decisive 83rd-minute goal and Menlo (Calif.) dealt the Southern Oregon men’s soccer team a season-opening loss for the second year in a row, 2-1 on Thursday afternoon at Wunderlich Field.

Following a scoreless first half, Raider freshman Sam Walker of Edinburgh, Scotland, marked his collegiate debut with a go-ahead score, giving SOU the initial edge in the 51st minute after Kelly Gieber and Brendan Allen worked the ball from the corner to the top. Both were credited with assists.

The lead, however, lasted just over five minutes. Staerz and Alexandro Chaitidis – both transfers from the University of Missouri-Kansas City – hooked up for the equalizer, with Chaitidis punching in a point-blank shot right in front of Raider keeper Wyatt Zabinski after handling Staerz’s pass from the end line.

Staerz tacked on the winner after Michael Weber snuck through the defense and led him for a 15-yard shot that bounced inside the right post.

The Raiders outshot the Oaks 15-13 but didn’t put another shot on goal after Walker’s conversion.

ROGUE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 3, TREASURE VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE 0: At Tukwila, Washington, the Rogue Community College Ospreys kicked off its 2019 season by beating Treasure Valley Community College at the NWAC 2019 Soccer Friendlies tournament.

“As of now, we’re undefeated,” said RCC Athletics Director Darren Van Lehn. “It’s a great way to start the season.”

The team returns 10 sophomores this year and brings in 16 freshmen. While the majority of the team is made up of local athletes, head coach Greg Millick expanded his recruiting area into Hawaii, Florida and Texas.

“While last year was a disappointment, this group is one of the most talented Millick has ever put together,” Van Lehn said. “He’s looking to match the 2017 program that competed for the region title. There is no confusing it, the goal for this season for the men is to be better than they have ever been and win the Southern Region title. And with their roster, they are feeling ready for that run.”

The Ospreys next play Blue Mountain Community College at 8 a.m. today in Tukwila. Their home opener will be Sept. 7, when the Ospreys men and women play host to North Idaho Community College in back-to-back games at U.S. Cellular Community Park.