South girls clinch another title
GRANTS PASS — Two goals within a three-minute span gave South Medford plenty of cushion to cruise past Grants Pass for a 3-1 win in Southwest Conference girls soccer Saturday at Mel Ingram Field.
The win was the 10th straight for the Panthers (10-1, 8-0 SWC) and clinched at least a share of a second straight conference title.
South Medford broke a scoreless tie with 30 seconds remaining in the first half when Brittany Jensen scored off an assist by Erin Riley. Two minutes into the second half, Raney Brooks bumped the lead to 2-0 with a terrific unassisted effort after winning a 50-50 ball and then volleying a shot past the goalkeeper just as she was crashed into by a challenging defender.
“It was kind of an interesting goal but she took the shot and put it in,” said Panthers head coach Chris Hollewijn. “The ref had to stop the game because she got the wind knocked out of her but it was a good effort by her.”
South Medford’s lead moved to 3-0 in the 60th minute when Renae Nisbet scored off another Riley assist.
Grants Pass (5-4-3, 3-3-2) avoided the shutout with a penalty kick goal by Brooke Blacksmith in the 65th minute.
“They caught us on a few things and we didn’t capitalize on our few things and that was the difference really,” said GP head coach Bill Sarver. “They kinda punished us on our mistakes and we didn’t punish them.”
ST. MARY’S 6, ROGUE RIVER 0: At Rogue River, Emily Elmore had three goals and an assist for St. Mary’s during District 5 action.
Lilli Knudsen recorded two goals and MaryBeth Barnum also scored for the Crusaders (10-0, 5-0 Dist. 5).
ILLINOIS VALLEY 2, LAKEVIEW 1, SO: At Cave Junction, Mikael Cusumano and Lily Cusumano each scored goals in the penalty kick shootout for Illinois Valley during District 5 action.
Goalkeeper Chawna Crawford made three key stops in the shootout for the Cougars (4-7, 2-3 Dist. 5).
Aundrea Miller evened the match at 1 in the 50th minute against Lakeview (0-8-1, 0-5).
SOUTH MEDFORD 2, GRANTS PASS 1: At Grants Pass, South Medford’s Josue Reyes scored in the 26th minute and Rene Cabrera tallied in the 45th to lift the Panthers to the Southwest Conference victory at Mel Ingram Field.
Reyes scored on a header following a crossing pass for South Medford (7-4, 5-3 SWC), while Cabrera ran onto a through ball for his goal.
Noah Heisser scored in the 65th minute after winning a scramble in the box, but the Cavemen (7-4-1, 4-3-1) couldn’t net an equalizer despite heavy pressure down the stretch.