SOU ROUNDUP: Raider men post shutout in playoff start
SPRINGFIELD — Everything fell into place for the Southern Oregon men’s soccer team Tuesday in the quarterfinal round of the Cascade Conference Championships presented by U.S. Bank.
Sam Walker gave the third-seeded Raiders an early lead by rebounding Adrian Villegas’ shot off the post, and Zak Woolley added ample insurance with two goals on set pieces in a comfortable 3-0 win over sixth-seeded Northwest (Wash.).
Before the Raiders (13-5-1 overall) ever took the field at Les Schwab Sports Park, seventh-seeded Evergreen (Wash.) did them a favor by knocking second-seeded Rocky Mountain (Mont.) out of the tournament.
So instead of facing Rocky — the defending tourney champion and the team responsible for SOU’s most recent loss 10 games ago — the Raiders will play their semifinal game at 4 p.m. today against fifth-seeded Eastern Oregon (9-8-2), which got by Oregon Tech in penalty kicks following a scoreless draw.
And as long as top-seeded Corban takes care of Evergreen in the other semifinal, the SOU-EOU winner will automatically receive the CCC’s second automatic bid to the NAIA Championships opening pound.
Now 8-0-1 over their last nine games, the Raiders experienced no hiccups against Northwest (9-9-1) while compiling a 16-3 advantage in shots on goal.
Walker, a freshman, put back Villegas’ shot in the 12th minute, giving Walker his sixth goal and Villegas his 12th assist. Woolley, a sophomore defender, deposited his third and fourth goals of the season via corner kicks by Luis Aguilar in the 25th minute and Junior Rivas in the 60th.
The Raiders were awarded nine corner kicks during the contest and the Eagles didn’t have any. Aguilar picked up his fourth assist and Rivas was credited with his third.
“We started the game really threatening offensively and the boys did a nice job of sticking to the game plan,” SOU head coach Davie Carmichael said. “The game slowed down a little around halftime but we picked it up again and just had the better opportunities all day.”
The Eagles had three shots on goal against SOU keeper Wyatt Zabinski, who earned his sixth solo shutout of 2019 a day after being named a first-team All-CCC performer for the third time.
The Raiders are now 6-0-2 in four appearances at the CCC Tournament.
They’ll see Eastern Oregon for the second time this season and the first time ever in postseason play. On Oct. 12 in Ashland, they scored twice in the final 19 minutes for a 2-0 victory, though the Mountaineers played a man down from the ninth minute on.
MONTANA STATE-NORTHERN 27, SOU 15: At Havre, Mont., Southern Oregon started its dual season with the loss at 17th-ranked Montana State-Northern, earning three wins by decision and another by forfeit.
JJ Talavera (157 pounds), Tanner Sallee (184) and Tanner Clark (285) were victorious for the Raiders on the first leg of a three-dual week. Four of the Lights’ six wins were picked up by NAIA Top 20 individuals.
Talavera dominated Caden Hilliard, 7-1, to give the Raiders their first points of the night. After Peterson won by forfeit, Sallee made his dual debut for the Raiders with a 9-4 decision over Carl Hansen. In the heavyweight match, Tanner Clark prevailed 5-4 in a tiebreaker against Ryan Moldenhauer.
For the Lights, second-ranked Isaac Bartel (197), 11th-ranked Rob Pair (125), 15th-ranked Chase Short (174) and 17th-ranked Nick Kunz (133) went unscathed. Bartel won by first-round fall against Josh Hammers, Pair worked a 9-1 major decision over Beau Shatto and Short scored more bonus points with a 17-2 technical fall against Fabian Miranda-Walls.
The Raiders will be at 16th-ranked Providence (Mont.) on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. Pacific Time matchup. They’ll finish the trip Friday at Warner Pacific.
SHAFFER FIRST TEAM: Southern Oregon senior defender Jazmin Shaffer was named to the All-Cascade Conference first team while senior midfielder Aislinn Waite and freshman forward Baylee Touey got second-team nods.
All three Raiders earned All-CCC accolades for the first time and a fourth, junior midfielder/defender Brionna Wood, received honorable mention.
Shaffer, a Portland product and third-year starter, anchored an SOU back line that totaled nine shutouts during the regular season and ended it with five in a row.
She helped the Raiders to the CCC’s third-lowest goals-against average in conference play (0.68) and an average of just 3.5 shots on goal allowed over their last eight outings.
Waite, a senior from Anchorage, Alaska, controlled the midfield while recording two goals and three assists in her third season as a starter. Touey registered eight goals and two assists, giving her the Raiders’ highest goal total in three years and the highest point total for an SOU freshman since 2004.
Wood was another staple of the lineup, starting 13 games and appearing in all 18 during the regular season. She also scored the game-winning goal in SOU’s win at Corban on Sept. 30.
Northwest’s Rylee Rassier and Rocky Mountain’s Lauryn Gamache were co-offensive players of the year. Northwest also produced the defensive player of the year in Kat Sanchez and the newcomer of the year in Callie Wright.
Brandon Porter was coach of the year after leading Oregon Tech to the regular-season title.
RISTVEDT, SUELL HONORED: Taylor Ristvedt was tabbed the Cascade Conference volleyball attacker of the week and Jordan Suell the Frontier Conference football offensive player of the week after more big outings for their respective Southern Oregon squads.
Ristvedt — following up on an NAIA player of the week honor — had 32 kills and seven errors for a .424 attacking average in sweeps of Northwest (Wash.) and Evergreen (Wash.), helping the Raiders clinch their second straight CCC regular-season championship.
She had 19 of those kills against Evergreen, marking a career-high for a three-set match.
Suell caught two touchdown passes for the third week in a row in SOU’s 27-19 win at Montana State-Northern. He had nine catches for 160 yards — good for a career high in the latter category for a Frontier game, his third straight 100-yard game and his ninth in four seasons. The senior has 26 reception TDs in his career at SOU, putting him at No. 4 on the team’s all-time list.0