RAIDER ROUNDUP: SOU men win wild CCC opener
ASHLAND — If the Southern Oregon men’s soccer team needed a reminder that circuit wins don’t come as easily, it got one from Evergreen (Wash.) on the opening day of Cascade Conference play Friday afternoon at Raider Stadium.
The Raiders squandered an early two-goal lead by surrendering three straight, but trailed for less than a minute and got the game-winner from Alan Gaytan in the 74th to take the 4-3 decision.
Despite giving up three goals at home for the first time since 2015, they improved their best-ever start to 5-0. Gaytan scored twice, giving him five goals in his last four games. Zak Woolley was credited with the assist on his first goal in the 20th minute, and in the 58th he leveled the score at 3-3 by heading in an Adrian Villegas free kick.
The Raiders are unbeaten in 24 of their last 25 home games. They’d turned in shutouts in 20 of those. Dating back to 2019, they hadn’t given up multiple goals in their previous 12 regular season games.
Junior Rivas got them going with a goal in the fifth minute, and Gaytan made it 2-0 in the 20th by rebounding a Woolley header that was created by Joao de Santos’ corner kick.
The Geoducks tied it by halftime. Joe DiCarlo found their first goal in the 37th minute, set up by a Lucas Alcala cross, and he and Maxton hauser assisted Brandon Clough for the equalizer three minutes later. Hauser then struck in the 57th after DiCarlo made a run down the right side and centered it to him.
The game was tied again 48 seconds later on Woolley’s header. The game-winner, which Gaytan slotted into the bottom-left corner of the goal on the PK, was set up by Joao de Santos’ run that attracted a foul inside the box.
Gaytan is the second Raider ever to tally in four consecutive games; Carlos Magana, now an assistant on head coach Davie Carmichael’s staff, did it first in 2016, also scoring five in his stretch. During one stretch as a freshman in 2019, Gaytan found the net in five of six games.
SOUTHERN OREGON 6, EVERGREEN (WASH.) 0: At Ashland, Sarah Mauk and Southern Oregon wasted no time establishing dominance over Evergreen (Wash.) in a romp at Raider Stadium.
In the conference opener for both teams, Mauk recorded two goals and one assist, while Phoebe Bunn and Baylee Touey further stuffed the scoresheet with a goal and two assists apiece.
SOU improved to 3-2-1 overall. The Geoducks dropped to 0-4-1.
Mauk, a junior forward, became the first Raider to turn in a five-point outing since she did it on Oct. 27, 2019. Before that, no Raider had pulled off the feat since 2015.
She started the scoring four minutes into the matchup, taking a cross from Touey to start the first two-assist game of her career. Mauk paid Touey back with an assist of her first goal of the season in the 12th minute. From there, the rout was on as SOU accumulated 37 shots and limited the Geoducks to four.
Bunn’s corner in the 22nd minute set up a header punched in by Malaika Quigley. Touey was credited with another assist of a Mauk goal in the 56th after her long shot was narrowly saved but tapped right back in by her teammate.
SOU’s last two goals occurred within 17 seconds of each other in the 68th: a put-back of Bunn’s shot by Mia Santander, and Bunn’s 30-yard looper that went over the keeper and made an assist of Cassie Robinson’s pass.
Ashlynn Hernandez earned the shutout with three saves.