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PREP SOCCER: South boys, girls clinch 6A playoff spots

South Medford’s boys soccer team found itself in danger of a costly loss Tuesday night, that is until senior forward Severine Warren stepped up and took matters into his own, well, feet at South Medford High.

Warren scored a pair of second-half goals to rally the Panthers for a 2-1 victory over Roseburg, allowing the Panthers to lock up third place in the Southwest Conference and an automatic berth in the Class 6A state playoffs.

“I was starting to worry,” said South Medford head coach Claudio Villa, “but you’ve got to remember you have to be patient and play the full 40 minutes.”

An own goal on an unfortunate deflection by the Panthers (7-4-2, 4-3-2 SWC) in the 20th minute allowed Roseburg (1-10-2, 1-7-1) to take an early lead and hold it through the first half.

Warren used an impressive effort to tie the match in the 52nd minute, building a scoring opportunity from deep in South’s own end and then firing a missile that hit the top of the cross bar and bounced inside the goal from 25 yards out.

Nine minutes later, Warren found himself in a great spot at the top of the box and hit another shot that Roseburg’s goalie got a piece of but not enough to keep it from reaching the net.

“When he takes his shots they’re very lethal,” said Villa, “and the ball was able to slip past his hands because of the power he puts on his shots.”

South Medford will wrap up the regular season at 8 p.m. Saturday against North Medford (4-5-4, 2-4-3) at Spiegelberg Stadium in a doubleheader that includes the girls soccer teams from each school facing off at 6 p.m.

GRANTS PASS 5, SHELDON 0: At Grants Pass, goalkeeper Scott Huddleston posted his third shutout in as many games to keep Grants Pass in the hunt for the Southwest Conference lead.

The Cavemen (7-3-3, 6-1-2 SWC) avenged a tie against Sheldon earlier in the season, playing great defense throughout to allow just one Irish shot on goal.

Grants Pass got goals from Cade Anderson in the 10th and 36th minutes, one goal and an assist from Gage Berkey and two assists from Sterling Willey.

CRATER 2, ASHLAND 2, tie: At Central Point, Crater posted its best effort of the season, with a standout outing by freshman goalkeeper Diego Estrada, to secure a tie in a Midwestern League match featuring first-place Ashland and the last-place Comets at Dutch Meyer Field.

Jayden Vranes scored first for Crater (3-8-2, 0-5-2 MWL) in the 28th minute off an assist by Camden Thurman, but Ashland’s Davidson Graham tied the score with a goal two minutes later.

Abe Hull again put the Comets on top in the 49th minute on his goal, which was assisted by Skyler Allen.

Ashland (8-2-3, 5-0-2), which had several solid shots turned away by Estrada, answered in the 54th minute with a goal by Scott Gustafson.

Girls

SOUTH MEDFORD 2, ROSEBURG 0: At Roseburg, South Medford won for the fifth time in its past seven matches, assuring at least a third-place finish in the Southwest Conference.

The Panthers (5-6-2, 5-3-1 SWC) have one regular-season match remaining on Saturday against rival North Medford.

South Medford got a goal from Isabella Bottero in the 11th minute. She shot from about 6 yards out and the ball deflected off a Roseburg player and into the goal.

South Medford’s Rainie Dabbs made it 2-0 in the 36th when she took a corner kick that was cleared out and blasted a shot from 25 yards over the goalie.

The Panthers’ defense was spearheaded by Talia Hutchins and Rylie Michael.

SOUTH EUGENE 3, NORTH MEDFORD 0: South Eugene continued to roll through the Southwest Conference, scoring twice in the first half at North Medford High.

The Axe is 9-0 in the SWC, 11-0-1 overall. The Black Tornado dropped to 7-6 overall and 4-5 in league.

Dakota Alewin held the back line together for North Medford, and teammate Jazzlynn Ross stepped up in goal, playing well after starter Katelynn Balsiger injured a hip midway through the first half.

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