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Big first half boosts Phoenix boys past KU

KLAMATH FALLS — A flurry of first-half goals by the Phoenix boys soccer team proved to be too much for Klamath Union to overcome and the Pirates won their Skyline Conference opener, 3-2, at Modoc Field.

Phoenix (2-2, 1-0 Skyline) tallied three straight goals over an eight-minute span — the last two by Samuel Macias. However, the Pelicans, who came into the contest with a 4-0 record and had outscored opponents 11-0, made a game of it after showering the Pirates’ defense with shot attempts.

“After we scored we knew we were gonna have a fight on our hands,” said Phoenix coach Dennis Flenner. “They (Klamath Union) got very aggressive and it got very open. They were just kicking the ball long. When it’s closer you don’t do that because you can get caught in transition.”

Mason Crawford of the Pelicans (4-1, 0-1 Skyline) snuck in a goal two minutes before halftime to trim the Pirates’ lead to 3-1.

In the midst of a second half where the Pelicans fired off 16 shot attempts, Nick Bacchetti was able to connect from 40 yards out in the 55th minute to slice Phoenix’s lead to 3-2.

The Pirates’ defense stood pat thereafter, led by goalkeeper Javier Castrejon, who made five saves.

Phoenix’s run began in the 26th minute with a goal from 20 yards by Avery Gollnick on a pass from Liam Macleod. Macias got the Pirates’ next two goals. He scored in the 31st minute on a heel flick from 6 yards on Fernando Rodriguez’s set-up, and in the 34th with an assist from Joel Merieda-Ford from 12 yards out.

“Sammy, he’s a finesse player,” said Flenner. “He came through in spades with his first two goals of the season. It was his game and his day.”

HIDDEN VALLEY 3, MAZAMA 2: At Klamath Falls, Hidden Valley’s Owen Stevens connected in the 72nd minute to break a 2-all tie for Hidden Valley’s win in the Skyline opener.

Stevens was the beneficiary of an assist from Kyle Millette, who had tied it up at 1-all with a goal in the 43rd minute.

Two minutes later, Forrest Gobar gave the Mustangs (2-2 overall) a 2-1 lead, which lasted until the 68th minute when Mazama knotted it.

Girls

KLAMATH UNION 4, PHOENIX 1: At Talent, Atya Van Ness pulled Phoenix to within 2-1 with a second-half goal, but the Pirates couldn’t pull out the win in their Skyline opener.

Tori Dykstra scored two first-half goals for Klamath Union, and the Pelicans solidified the win with tallies in the 52nd and 72nd minutes.

For Phoenix (0-4 overall), Van Ness played well at center midfielder, while forward Annabelle Davis and wing Stephanie Reyes also excelled.

HENLEY 4, NORTH VALLEY 0: At Merlin, Henley opened a 2-0 halftime lead, then doubled its margin after halftime of the Skyline opener.

Natalie DeLonge scored the second-half goals against the Mustangs (1-4 overall).