LOCAL ROUNDUP: Challengers come through with clutch win
ROGUE RIVER — In a battle of unbeatens, Cascade Christian’s girls soccer team showed its poise and sent a message to the rest of District 5 in the process with a hard-fought, 3-1 victory over Rogue River on Wednesday.
Challengers senior Bryton Plankenhorn again led the charge for her team, scoring on a free kick in the 17th minute and a penalty kick in the 32nd to help Cascade Christian (6-0-1, 1-0-1 Dist. 5) to a 2-1 halftime advantage.
The first of Plankenhorn’s goals came from about 30 yards out and sizzled into the net.
“It was another one of her bullet shots,” said Challengers head coach Mick Power. “It was a fantastic goal.”
One minute later, however, Rogue River sophomore Makyala Drake answered with a goal of her own, dancing through the defense before finding the net for the Chieftains (5-1, 1-1).
The Challengers were awarded a penalty kick later in the half, with Plankenhorn calmly depositing the close-range shot for the eventual game-winning goal.
In the second half, freshman Autumn Murray supplied a breakout moment when, like Drake, she weaved through a few defenders and then slotted the ball home for an insurance goal in the 64th minute.
“It really was a standout effort from her,” said Power of Murray. “She’s a freshman and new to the team and she played her best of the season so far.”
Emily Knight had three saves in goal for Cascade Christian, which moved to No. 5 in the Class 3A/2A/1A state power rankings and was in that same spot in the last coaches’ poll. Rogue River, which hit the crossbar on a penalty kick in the first half, dropped to No. 8 in the power rankings.
“It was a well-spirited game and just two really good teams going at it against each other,” said Power.
SOUTH EUGUENE 6, NORTH MEDFORD 0: At Eugene, North Medford wasn’t able to keep up with undefeated South Eugene which picked up the Southwest Conference win.
The Black Tornado dropped to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in SWC play while The Axe improved to 6-0-1 and 4-0 in the conference.
CRATER 2, LAKEVIEW 2, tie: At Lakeview, Crater wound up managing a nonconference stalemate with host Lakeview.
The Comets’ record moved to 3-2-4.
ST. MARY’S 5, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0: Sophomore Ryker Rothfus recorded her second hat trick of the season to propel St. Mary’s to victory in its District 5 opener at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
The Crusaders (3-3, 1-0 Dist. 5) received their other two goals from Estella Olson.
Defensively, Mia Castillo and Meg Wright worked well together in limiting Illinois Valley’s scoring opportunities, with Olivia Lippert and Lila Reed sharing goalkeeper duties to help St. Mary’s post a clean sheet.
ST. MARY’S 7, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0: St. Mary’s junior Nathan Sternenberg tallied three goals — two in the first half — to help the Crusaders remain unbeaten at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
Senior Milan Bobek scored once in each half for St. Mary’s (6-0-1, 5-0 Dist. 5), while junior William Kranenburg deposited two second-half goals to deny Illinois Valley (2-4, 2-4).
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, RV ADVENTIST 0: Cascade Christian’s early goal was all the insurance it would need as the Challengers turned in their second straight District 5 shutout at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
Jonny McCoy made it up from his sweeper position to tally the Challengers’ first goal in the eighth minute, and 15 minutes later Justin Fairbanks’ score bumped the lead to 2-0.
Cascade Christian (3-2-2, 3-1 Dist. 5) also picked up a goal from Cody Reece in the 56th minute on a pass from Kai Coster.
PORTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE 3, ROGUE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1: At Portland, Omar Hernandez scored the lone goal for RCC (3-4-3, 1-3-1 Northwest Athletic Conference), which fell behind 3-0.
ROGUE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1, PORTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE 0: At Portland, Taylor Marshall scored what turned out to be the game-winner for the Ospreys in the 60th minute.
Rogue improved to 4-5-2, 4-1-1 in the NWAC.