RAIDER ROUNDUP: Newcomers spark SOU in opener
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Two of the Southern Oregon men’s soccer team’s highly-touted additions found the back of the net in their season debuts as the Raiders opened with a 2-0 win against The Master’s (Calif.) on Saturday afternoon at Reese Field.
Joao de Santos, a junior midfielder from Brazil, took an assist from Junior Rivas and got into the box to untie the game in the 22nd minute. In the 55th, Kevin Nevinger’s corner kick found forward Luis Navarrete, a junior transfer from Wenatchee C.C. (Wash.), for a header that gave SOU all the cushion it needed.
The game was played on the Raiders’ terms throughout. They posted 12 shots to the Mustangs’ four, and TMU keeper Kian Bensend needed to make six saves to keep the score where it was.
“We looked like we were in a really fluid rhythm for the majority of the game and controlled possession and the tempo of play,” SOU head coach Davie Carmichael said. “There are still some tactical and spacing corrections and improvements we need to make that will come with time and the ability to train on the pitch.”
The Raiders had 10 corner kicks and a 7-1 advantage in the first half.
Raiders keeper Liam Kalhagen kept the Mustangs off the board. The senior made three saves in the sixth career shutout he’s had a hand in.
SOUTHERN OREGON 0, THE MASTER’S 0: At Santa Clarita, Calif. senior goalkeeper Jessie Selby bailed out Southern Oregon its opener against The Master’s (Calif.), keeping things scoreless despite a major attacking disparity at Reese Field.
The Raiders were out-shot by the Mustangs 28-7 and put only three on goal, but Selby came up with 13 saves as they escaped with a draw after two overtime sessions. The Vancouver, Wash., product was one short of her career-high and now owns SOU’s two highest single-game save totals in the last 15 seasons.
She sacrificed her eligibility for SOU’s next game in the process, too. With eight minutes remaining, she came just out of the box to get a hand on Kyndel Borman’s shot after Borman got by the back line for a clear attempt. Selby thwarted the potential golden goal but was issued a red card for her offense.
Ashlynn Hernandez came on for Selby and made one additional save to preserve the shutout.
Operating one player down, the Raiders had perhaps their best opportunity to score in the final seconds when Baylee Touey went to retrieve a through-ball behind the defense, but Mustangs keeper Ariana Romero beat her to it by a fraction of a second.
The Master’s, which has yet to allow a goal this season, went to 2-0-1.
SOU SWEEPS: At Rocklin, Calif., Southern Oregon faced a set deficit for the first time this season on Saturday and responded with aplomb, rallying to take down William Jessup (Calif.) in five sets and following with a sweep of Simpson (Calif.) at Warrior Court.
The 21st-ranked Raiders completed a perfect stay at the William Jessup Invite with the wins and will enter Cascade Conference action next weekend with a 5-0 record.
Their 20-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-17, 15-6 comeback against WJU (1-2) was the first win of the year that didn't end in straight sets. Sophomore middle Sadie Byrd helped push them to it with seven kills and 10 blocks. She became the sixth Raider to register double-digit blocks in the last decade, and she and Simone Gordon assisted three apiece in the fourth frame to send the match to a fifth.
Hailey Van Well capped off a monster match with four kills in the one-sided tiebreaker. She finished with 21 on 50 swings, adding four digs and three blocks. Gordon nearly matched Byrd, going for 10 kills and eight blocks, and Taylor Jackson assisted five of the team's 15 stuffs.
Kadyn Jones (18 digs) and Karina Oliveira (17 digs) stabilized the back row. Setters Gwen Sheldon (25 assists, 9 digs, 3 aces) and Hannah Randall (22 assists) orchestrated a .243 attack.
The Raiders overcame a 20-kill performance from Warriors hitter Taylor Dilley.
They later swept Simpson for the second time in two weeks, 25-22, 25-9, 25-23, and held the Redhawks (0-5) to a .085 attacking average.
Van Well poured in nine more kills and Gordon had five. Sheldon went for eight assists and three service aces, and Jones had a match-high 12 digs.