Raiders oust Rocky in first round of CCC tourney
SPRINGFIELD — A second-half comeback pushed the Southern Oregon men’s soccer team past Rocky Mountain (Mont.) on Tuesday for the second time in six weeks. This time around, it kept SOU’s season alive.
The Raiders, seeded No. 3 in the Cascade Conference Championships presented by U.S. Bank, rallied for a 2-1 win over the No. 6-seeded Battlin’ Bears in the quarterfinal round at Les Schwab Sports Park. They advanced to play No. 2 seed and 19th-ranked Oregon Tech at 4 p.m. today in the semifinals.
Sophomore forward Alan Gaytan erased their 1-0 halftime deficit in the 53rd minute with his 10th goal of the season. To make it happen, Noah Addie sent a corner kick past the far post to Zak Woolley, who headed a pass in front of the goal that enabled a routine header finish for Gaytan.
Gaytan was also in on the winner in the 83rd minute, crossing from near the right corner to the far post and connecting with freshman defender Elijah Garriss. On his first touch, Garriss lined in his first career goal.
The Raiders have gotten past the quarterfinal round in each of the last four CCC Tournaments. They’ll bring a 15-3 overall record into their matchup with Oregon Tech, which was the conference’s regular-season co-champion with Warner Pacific.
The Owls (15-1-1) only have one loss on their ledger: a 1-0 decision at SOU on Sept. 24. They set up another tilt by defeating Evergreen (Wash.) 2-0 in their quarterfinal game.
Warner Pacific will meet No. 4-seeded Corban in the other semifinal. If WPU advances, then the SOU-OIT winner will get an automatic bid to the national tournament. If Corban defeats WPU, then the tournament champion will receive the automatic bid. The final is set for noon Friday at Eugene’s Civic Park.
The Battlin’ Bears ended their season at 9-6-1. They’d also lost 2-1 to the Raiders in overtime on Oct. 1, when Gaytan punched in a 79th-minute equalizer and Luis Navarrete tallied the golden goal in the 95th.
They had the Raiders on the ropes again Tuesday after Zach Wall assisted Quique Garcia for the first goal in the 34th minute. They only put one more shot on goal the rest of the way.
SOU 0 (5), ROCKY MOUNTAIN 0 (4): At Springfield, Southern Oregon goalkeeper Jessie Selby was ready when she finally got a chance to flex her newly acquired All-Cascade Conference first-team credentials in the quarterfinal round of the CCC Championships.
After 110 scoreless minutes in which she didn't need to make a single save, Selby and the No. 2-seeeded Raiders went to penalty kicks with No. 7 seed Rocky Mountain (Mont.) at Les Schwab Sports Park. It was there that the Battlin' Bears' first shooter, Halle Labert, had her attempt stopped by a diving Selby, who corralled the save, jumped to her feet and emphatically rolled the ball back to where it'd come from.
The stop turned out to be the only one the Raiders needed as they converted all five of their penalty kicks — Natalie Paul, Morgan Rohmann, Ruth Hegstad, Emily Williman and Phoebe Bunn coolly coming through in succession.
The Raiders (12-4-2) — who hadn't survived PKs since 2015 when they knocked out RMC (10-5-3) — moved on to play in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday. They'll meet No. 3 seed College of Idaho, which was the last team to defeat the Raiders before they started their active six-game unbeaten streak.
SOU 78, SIMPSON 39: At Ashland, Southern Oregon women’s basketball team made its return in style Monday night at Lithia Motors Pavilion, rolling to a win in its first game in 20 months and securing Carlotta Kloppenburg-Pruitt’s first victory as head coach
Sophomore forward Kami Walk turned in her first career double-double in the process with 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.
The Raiders pulled away with their work on the defensive end. With 4 minutes 23 seconds left in the second quarter, Simpson’s Kayla Morgan put in a layup that made SOU’s lead to 29-19. The Redhawks didn’t score for another 11 minutes, and in that time the Raiders went on a 23-0 run.
Senior wing Kenadee Honaker was active in those defensive efforts as usual. She came away with five of the team’s 16 steals as the Raiders forced 27 total turnovers. They also blocked six shots, with Mia Wilmot adding two, and kept Simpson at 33 percent from the field (14-of-32) with just one make from 3-point range.
Danasia Allison acted as another sparkplug during the run and finished with a career-high 12 points to go with three assists. She was the Raiders’ leading bench scorer, and their reserves collectively outscored those of the Redhawks’ 43-13.