PREP ROUNDUP: South boys edge Crater, in final
South Medford got goals from three players and advanced to the championship game of the Southern Oregon Conference boys soccer playoffs with a 3-2 victory over upstart Crater Thursday at Spiegelberg Stadium.
The Panthers (7-2-2) will face the Eagle Point-Ashland winner on Saturday for the championship.
“It’s very meaningful,” said South Medford coach Claudio Villa. “It’s been a weird year, playing nine games plus the playoffs in six weeks. It’s very hard to do and it’s taking a toll on the boys, especially with a roster of 14 players, but we’re really proud.
“It’s satisfying just to see that, although we’re very young — at the beginning of the season we were wondering how well we would do with such a young squad — we’re in the final. It’s a credit to my coaching staff for doing a very good job and to the boys; they’re the ones who make it happen on the field.”
South Medford opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Peyton Terry converted a penalty kick following a hand ball on a Comet player.
Cooper Hopkins tied in the 16th minute, indicating Crater wasn’t going to shrink from the challenge. The Comets (1-9) were winless in the regular season, then upset No. 2 seed North Medford in their playoff opener Tuesday.
“They kept us on our toes the whole game,” said Villa. “They’re a very decent team.”
Kyle Denn put the Panthers back in front, 2-1, with a 30-yard shot over Crater goalkeeper Diego Estrada.
South Medford scored again a minute before halftime when Felix Valenzuela recovered the ball, dribbled into position and fired a low shot into the net to make it 3-1.
Estrada capped the scoring with a free kick from 45 yards in the second half.
NORTH MEDFORD 5, ROSEBURG 2: North Medford junior midfielder Will Gillock scored a pair of goals and the Black Tornado advanced to the consolation bracket final of the SOC tournament.
North Medford (6-3-1) will host Grants Pass (3-4-3) on Saturday. North won and tied against Grants Pass in the regular season.
Gustavo Lara opened the scoring for the Black Tornado 10 minutes in off an assist from Braden Byrd. Gillock doubled North’s lead 10 minutes before halftime after a nice through ball from Jesus Nunez.
Roseburg (2-9) cut the North lead to a single goal twice in the second half, but the Black Tornado had an answer each time.
North freshman defender Colson Rumrey made it 3-1. Then, after Roseburg cut it to 3-2 with 23 minutes to go, Ulysses Gomez put North ahead 4-2 after jumping on a loose ball in the box.
Gillock capped North’s season-high output for goals with his second of the day, this one coming on a header.
ASHLAND 2, EAGLE POINT 1, OT: At Ashland, Carson Pindell’s goal seven minutes into overtime proved to be the difference as Ashland edged Eagle Point to advance to the SOC tournament championship game.
The top-seeded Grizzlies (8-1-1) will face No. 3 seed South Medford (7-2-2) — which beat Crater 3-2 in Thursday’s other semifinal — on Saturday night in Ashland.
Pindell’s goal came on a combination play with Mario Jacobson, with the former slotting home his shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The Grizzlies got on the scoreboard first through a goal by Davidson Graham that was assisted by Sean Davidson.
Eagle Point (5-3-3), the No. 4 seed, tied the game three minutes into the second half as junior forward Brennen Neyt connected from about 40 yards out.
Ashland keeper Gabe Giancarlo recorded seven saves.
Mathew Angel and Diego Garcia had strong games in midfield for Eagle Point, while Noe Cortes and Elvis Cisneros were steady presences at the back.
PHOENIX 3, MARIST 0: At Sutherlin, Phoenix scored two goals within a minute late in the first half and advanced to the championship match of the Class 4A Elite 8 Showcase.
The Pirates (10-1), the No. 3 seed, will face top-seeded Stayton (11-0), a 1-0 winner over Ontario, in the championship on Saturday. A site and time have not been finalized.
The loss was second-seeded Marist’s first of the season after 10 wins.
Phoenix busted open a scoreless tie in a big way in the 38th minute.
Jorge Mejia scored off a pass from Danny Palomino, then 30 seconds later, the Pirates were at it again when Mejia assisted on a goal from 3 yards out by Adolpho Camacho.
One minute into the second half, Victor Martinez gave Phoenix a 3-0 lead when he picked off a defender, dribbled around the goalkeeper and finished.
SOUTH MEDFORD 1, ASHLAND 0, OT: Top-seeded South Medford got a goal from Brooke Fairbanks in the final three minutes of overtime at Spiegelberg Stadium to advance to the SOC championship match.
South Medford (9-0-1) takes on Grants Pass, a 4-1 winner over North Medford, at 1 p.m. Saturday at Spiegelberg.
Rainie Dabbs sent a through pass in a crowd to Fairbanks, who finished.
The Panther back line of Caris Follett, Morgan Burke, Makayla Peterson and Lexie Clark then finished off a stellar shutout effort.
Ashland, the fourth seed, finished the season 5-5-1.
GRANTS PASS 4, NORTH MEDFORD 1: At Grants Pass, No. 2 seed Grants Pass eliminated No. 6 North Medford in the SOC semifinals.
Grants Pass (9-1-1) scored three first-half goals to take command.
The Black Tornado (3-7) tallied in the 25th minute when Taylor Denn stole the ball from a defender and slotted in the goal. Her score pulled North Medford to within 2-1.
CRATER 2, EAGLE POINT 0: At Central Point, senior forward Allison Waters scored a pair of goals to lead Crater in the consolation bracket of the SOC playoffs.
The Comets (6-3-2) took a 1-0 lead in the 23 minute when Waters took a nice feed from senior midfielder Ayden Wycoff and did the rest to beat the keeper.
Waters got her second goal with seven minutes to go. Following an initial shot by junior defender Kayliegh Gugliotta that was not controlled, Waters jumped on the rebound and finished it to double the Comets’ lead.
Crater goalkeeper Teya Amidei had four saves as the Comets kept the Eagles (0-10-1) at bay and recorded their second shutout in the last three games.
Crater will face Roseburg (3-8) in the consolation bracket finale on Saturday.
ST. MARY’S 5, SUTHERLIN 1: At Grants Pass, St. Mary’s avenged a loss of a week earlier, taking a 4-0 halftime lead and getting a hat trick from freshman Elise Fernandes in the Class 3A culminating week playoffs at the Josephine County Fairgrounds.
Sutherlin (9-2) had recently handed a depleted St. Mary’s team a 4-2 loss. The Crusaders were at full strength for the semifinal Thursday, and will face either Pleasant Hill or Santiam Christian in the finals Saturday.
The Crusaders (7-2) got goals from Fernandes in the 15th, 33rd and 63rd minutes — all on passes from Sophia Dobry.
Ainsley Gibbs took a pass from Dobry in the sixth minute to start the scoring, then Dobry tallied in the 10th minute after gathering a ball deflected by the goalkeeper.
Sutherlin’s score came in the 65th minute on a free kick.
PHOENIX 3, DOUGLAS 0: At Phoenix, Phoenix completed its season on a two-match winning streak, taking a 25-23, 25-18, 25-18 victory.
The Pirates (4-9) rallied from a 22-18 deficit in the first set and controlled the match from there.
Josie Bolstad had 12 kills, three blocks and three aces, and Jourden DeVey chipped in 16 digs, four kills and five aces.
Delani Parent had eight kills, two blocks and an ace in the win, Alley Ellis recorded 22 assists and Raelyssa Goff 18 digs.
WILLAMETTE 34, EAGLE POINT 26: At Eugene, Eagle Point rallied to take the lead in the second quarter but was unable to sustain the advantage in the final contest of the season.
Willamette (4-2) led 13-0 before Gabe Esquibel sparked the Eagles (1-5) with a 29-yard touchdown return of a fumble.
Ensuing 1-yard plunges by Isaiah Hill and David Brown moved Eagle Point in front, 20-13, but Willamette overtook the Eagles for a 21-20 halftime lead.
Eagle Point added an Anthony Milian 4-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
Hill had 73 yards on 12 carries, Brown 56 yards on 14 carries and Milian 23 yards on four carries.
Freshman Bryton Livingston completed 7 of 13 passes for 61 yards for Eagle Point, and Joshua Jackson caught four passes for 64 yards.
On defense, Hill had seven tackles and 12 assists.
Eagle Point 7 13 6 0 — 26
Willamette 13 8 13 0 — 34
W — 6 pass (kick good)
W — Prom 7 pass from Woodcock (kick failed)
EP — Esquibel 29 fumble return (Turcios kick)
EP — Hill 1 run (Turcios kick)
EP — Brown 1 run (kick failed)
W — 14 pass (2-pt conversion)
EP — Milian 4 run (2-pt conversion failed)
W — 4 run (2-pt conversion failed)
W — 26 pass (kick good)