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SOU's Miller, Villegas earn All-West Region honors

SOU Sports Information

Southern Oregon senior Michael Miller and freshman Adrian Villegas were named to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region team and Villegas received NAIA All-America honorable mention, the national office announced Wednesday.

Miller, a defender from Fresno, Calif., repeated as the Cascade Conference’s co-Defensive Player of the Year and is a regional all-star for the second time. The anchor of SOU’s back line, Miller helped the Raiders to eight shutouts and goals-allowed averages of 0.9 overall and 0.7 in conference play. During their 10-game unbeaten streak to end the season, they allowed just 22 shots on goal combined.

Miller also added career-highs of three goals and six assists, tallying three times in SOU’s final five games.

Villegas, a midfielder from Hood River, stepped in as a focal point of SOU’s attack and recorded team-highs of 10 goals, 11 assists and 26 shots on goal. His 31 total points marked a new single-season record for the Raiders and he was one of only two players in the CCC to reach double figures in both goals and assists, ranking 19th nationally in the latter category.

Villegas one was of two freshmen picked for the 15-person All-West Region team.

The Raiders finished 13-5-2 overall and 10-2-1 in CCC play. Though their unbeaten streak remained active through the end of the season, they were eliminated in penalty kicks by Eastern Oregon in the semifinal round of the CCC Tournament.

Softball

SOU NO. 1 IN CCC: The 2020 Southern Oregon University softball team will face higher expectations than ever, the first round of which rolled in Wednesday when the Raiders were picked to win the Cascade Conference.

A No. 1 NAIA ranking will likely follow for the reigning national champions when the preseason Top 25 poll is released on Jan. 15. They’ll return all but one starting position player from a team that scored twice as many runs as its opponent and committed half as many errors, and pitching ace Gabby Sandoval will be following up as a senior on a historic 36-4 season in which she posted a 1.19 ERA with 33 complete games and 15 shutouts.

The Raiders have won three of the last four CCC regular-season and tournament championships. In 2018, they went 52-8 with a 24-3 record in conference play, clinching the title prior to their final series.

SOU received nine first-place votes and Oregon Tech got the other two. The Owls were picked to finish second, followed in the coaches’ poll by College of Idaho and Corban.

The CCC will expand by one team to 11 this year, adding new program Warner Pacific.

The Raiders will open the season in Redding, Calif., on Feb. 1. Their complete schedule will be published later this month.

On Dec. 2, it was announced that they’ll play an exhibition game against the USA Softball Women’s National Team in Eugene on March 18.

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