PREP SOCCER: Big second half sparks Ashland boys
MERLIN — All Ashland head coach Abdiaziz Guled told his team at halftime of Wednesday’s game against North Valley was to try and slow things down.
Heeding their longtime coach’s advice, the Grizzlies went out and played one of their best halves of the young season.
Led by seniors Davidson Graham and Lucas Poareo Davidson, Ashland exploded for six goals after the break, breaking a scoreless deadlock at halftime to claim a 6-0 win over North Valley.
“Let’s cool off, let’s slow down and play your game,” Guled said in regard to his halftime message.
“They really did that well in the second half, and it was great to be outside and not practicing in the gym like we have been.”
Graham and Poareo Davidson each scored a pair of goals and had an assist. Graham set up what proved to be the game-winner on a strike from sophomore Lupin Paz in the 56th minute. Graham made it 2-0 four minutes later after collecting a pass from Poareo Davidson.
Ashland (2-1) broke the game wide open with three goals in the span of seven minutes, as a Etani di Properzio goal was bookended bv a pair of Poareo Davidson strikes.
Graham scored the Grizzlies’ final goal of the game in the 72nd minute with the assist going to Luke Reddish.
Charlie Sherman also had an assist for Ashland.
Ashland goalkeepers Mateo Moore and Mina Scheppmann both saw action as the Grizzlies recorded their second straight shutout.
“This match, it was just a different environment for us,” Guled said. “It gave us a chance to try and work as a team. It gave us another test for when things are not going well, and that will just test the mentality of working together. We were lacking energy in the beginning, but thankfully that changed.”
PHOENIX 3, MARSHFIELD 2: At Coos Bay, Phoenix’s Caden Gallegos scored the game-winning goal in the 74th minute on an assist from Daniel Palomino.
While battling windy conditions, the two teams traded jabs in the first half, with Marshfield scoring in the sixth minute before Gallegos evened the score on a goal in the 16th minute off an assist by Victor Martinez.
After Marshfield countered with a goal in the 25th minute to take a 2-1 lead, Phoenix (3-0) tied the game heading into halftime when Cielo Marlia-Larsen scored in the 32nd minute, courtesy of an assist from Gallegos.
HIDDEN VALLEY 2, EAGLE POINT 1: At Murphy, Eagle Point hung tough but couldn’t hold onto its early lead in a road loss to Class 4A Hidden Valley.
Eagle Point (1-1) opened the scoring in the 12th minute after a pass from senior Isabela Espino-Marquez deflected off a Hidden Valley player and into the path of fellow senior Makenna Maldonado, who slotted it past the keeper.
Hidden Valley (3-0), however, tied the game eight minutes later and then scored the game-winner with just over 20 minutes to go.
Eagle Point senior keeper Emilee Nielsen saved a penalty kick with five minutes to go to keep the Eagles within one goal.
ASHLAND 3, NORTH VALLEY 3: At Ashland, Ashland wasn’t able to hold onto a three-goal second-half lead as North Valley fought back to get the tie at Walter A. Phillips Field.
Ashland (1-0-2) was ahead 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes thanks to goals from junior Celia Bertrand and senior Luna Wilhelm.
The Grizzlies then made it 3-0 in the 57th minute thanks to a North Valley own goal.
But then Ashland saw North Valley (2-0-1) score goals in the 58th, 64th and 68th minutes to pull even.
ST. MARY’S 3, HENLEY 2: St. Mary’s sophomore Elise Fernandes scored the game-winning goal to cap off her hat trick in the 55th minute and help the Crusaders snap their season-opening losing streak at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
The game was originally supposed to be played in Klamath Falls, but poor air quality forced the game to be played in Medford.
After Henley (1-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute, Fernandes tied the game all of a minute later with her first goal of the day off a through ball from senior Ryker Rothfus. Fernandes then got her second in the 20th minute, finishing a free kick by junior Carmel Ashland.
The Hornets tied the game five minutes into the second half before the Crusaders (1-4) pulled ahead for good on Fernandes’ third goal after getting a pass from Brennan Gangnes and finishing a 1-on-1 chance against the keeper.
St. Mary’s goalkeeper Katelynn Balsiger made a handful of saves, and center backs Sofia Castillo and Reese Wright also provided key defensive efforts.
KLAMATH UNION 4, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3: Cascade Christian senior midfielder Katie Erno scored a pair of goals but the Challengers were unable to dig themselves out of an early hole at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
Erno’s first goal came in the 20th minute, cutting the Klamath Union lead to 3-1.
The Pelicans (2-1) extended their lead to 4-1 early in the second half before freshman forward Taylor Folin and Erno scored, the latter coming off a corner kick that beat the keeper in the air.
Junior Bella Williams picked up an assist and had a strong game in the center of the midfield for the Challengers (0-5).