Prep Roundup: Challengers stay perfect with win over Crusaders
Through its first four games of the 2021 spring season, the Cascade Christian boys soccer team was getting it down at both ends of the field.
It was no different in the Challengers’ fifth game.
Getting a goal less than two minutes into the game from senior Jonny McCoy and a hat trick from senior Levi Sciapiti, Cascade Christian rolled to a 5-0 win over rival St. Mary’s on Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Community Park to remain perfect on the season.
“I’ve seen great leaps and bounds from our players,” Cascade Christian head coach Juan De La Mora said. “This is what happens when you give your all, and it says a lot about them.”
The Challengers (5-0) have won every game they’ve played by at least four goals and have now outscored their opponents 36-2.
This was the Challengers’ second straight win over the Crusaders after Cascade Christian’s seven-match losing streak against St. Mary’s was snapped earlier this month.
McCoy got things going when he received a pass from senior Ryan Crowl and went on a weaving run through the St. Mary’s defense, splitting a pair of defenders before firing home at the far post.
Two minutes before halftime, the Challengers doubled their lead, as Sciapiti jumped on a loose ball following a Anders Mellicke corner kick and shot it on his first touch.
Sciapiti added a second goal to his tally early in the second half after a combination play with senior forward Levi Marincus on a Challenger counterattack to make it 3-0. He capped off the three-goal performance with a header in the six-yard box on a cross from McCoy on the left wing.
“He finds himself in the right places,” De La Mora said of Sciapiti. “I’m so impressed with how he just creates opportunities for himself by being in the right places and getting after it.
Senior defender Nathan Spurlock rounded out the scoring for the Challengers when he headed home a cross off a Michael Melvin corner kick.
St. Mary’s head coach Eisa Tiaa Tutu was complimentary of the play of midfielders William Kranenburg and Leandro Cronk as well as his young goalkeeper, freshman Nathan Lemley. He finished with five saves.
St. Mary’s fell to 3-4 with the loss.
“These guys, they really understand that they’re making history and there’s a big enthusiasm to keep that passion going as long as they can,” De La Cruz said. “There’s a pride to be had, and these guys are getting after it. We’re taking every game as they come and we’re serious about being the best we can be. They know they still have more games, so these guys are being prepared and they know there’s a bigger picture.”
SUTHERLIN 3, ST. MARY’S 1: St. Mary’s was able to capture the first set, but couldn’t keep momentum going as Sutherlin recorded a comeback win over the Crusaders, 26-28, 25-19, 27-25 and 25-8 at the St. Mary’s gym.
Sophomore Kelsey Dunn had 21 kills — a season-best total — to go along with 18 digs and four aces for St. Mary’s (5-7).
Both senior Abbie Christman and freshman Emma Johnston had six kills, while the latter added a team-high 19 digs.
Sophomore Albie Borovansky recorded 17 digs, while sophomore setter Kaitlyn Hansen had 29 assists, which is also season-high total.