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Tornado pulls out draw with Willamette

After drawing an early red card that caused a penalty kick goal, the North Medford boys soccer team was down a man and one goal for nearly the duration of Thursday’s Southwest Conference match against Willamette.

But with 15 minutes left to play, Danny Zamores received a header from Caleb Dix, charged through two defenders and blasted in the game-tying goal to salvage a 1-all stalemate with the Wolverines at North Medford High.

“It was a huge breath of fresh air being down a man to come back and get a tie,” said Black Tornado coach Michael Belzberg.

North Medford goalkeeper Matt Van Horn made contact with Willamette’s ball striker on a breakaway which earned North Medford (5-3-1, 3-2-1 SWC) the red card and an ejection of Van Horn.

The Wolverines made the ensuing penalty kick to go up 1-0 and forced injured Black Tornado goalkeeper Eric Benitez, a first-team all-conference player a year ago, to enter the game. He injured his hip flexor on Saturday in a loss to South Eugene.

“Matt, you can tell he felt bad about that play,” said Belzberg of Van Horn. “But Eric played hurt and still did an awesome job.”

The Black Tornado held up strong in the 10 versus 11 scenario the rest of the way until Zamores tallied.

North Medford managed to outshoot the Wolverines 15-6 in the contest.

PHOENIX 7, MAZAMA 1: At Klamath Falls, Edgar Valdovinos scored two first-half goals and Zach Castillo tallied twice in the second half as Phoenix rolled in the Skyline matchup.

Valdovinos’ goals came at the 32nd and 36th minutes and gave the Pirates (4-3, 3-1 Sky) a 4-0 halftime lead. They went ahead 1-0 just three minutes into the contest on an own goal, then Jose Ascencion scored four minutes later.

Phoenix’s Joel Mereida-Ford tallied on an assist from Rosando Flores in the 43rd minute, then Castillo closed out the victory with goals in the 60th and 68th minutes.

HENLEY 3, HIDDEN VALLEY 2: At Klamath Falls, Hidden Valley finally cracked top-ranked Henley’s defense, which had not surrendered a goal to a Skyline opponent, but the Mustangs were unable to pull off the upset.

The Mustangs (3-4, 2-2 Skyline) evened the score at 1-all when Kyle Millette scored off a corner kick from Forrest Gobar in the 26th minute. The Hornets (7-0, 4-0 Skyline) tallied two quick goals in the second half before Owen Stevens trimmed Henley’s advantage to 3-2 on an assist from Abe Martinez near the 70th-minute mark.

Alex Thornhill made four saves in goal for the Mustangs, including two one-on-one.

NORTH VALLEY 5, KLAMATH UNION 2: At Merlin, David McLittle scored with less than a minute to play to give North Valley the Skyline triumph.

Nick Bacchetti gave KU the initial lead, but North Valley came back with two goals before Jache Ortega scored for the Pelicans to tie it. The Knights had three goals from Trinidad Flores, including both second-half scores.


MAZAMA 2, PHOENIX 0: At Talent, Mazama scored once in each half to keep Phoenix winless in the Skyline match.

Bret Nevala and Aspen Smith accounted for the Vikings’ goals.

The Pirates (0-7, 0-4 Sky) got strong attacking from Anabelle Davis and freshman Maegan Farely.

KLAMATH UNION 1, NORTH VALLEY 0: At Klamath Falls, North Valley controlled the field for much of the contest until Klamath Union broke through in the 74th minute with a goal by Tori Dykstra.

The Knights dropped to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in the Skyline Conference.

HENLEY 2, HIDDEN VALLEY 0: At Murphy, Hidden Valley gave a spirited defensive effort but mustered just five shots on goal side as Henley prevailed.

After Brittany Kochenderfer put the Hornets (3-4, 3-1 Sky) ahead 1-0 with a goal in the 12th minute, the Mustangs (1-5-1, 1-3) held their ground until Henley’s Gabby Mathis connected with five minutes remaining.