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PREP SOCCER: South Eugene turns back North Medford

South Eugene continued its impressive start to Southwest Conference play this season Tuesday afternoon with a 4-1 win over North Medford on the Black Tornado’s home field.

The Axe (4-2, 3-0 SWC) took a 3-1 lead going into halftime on a pair of goals from senior Sofia Serrano and a third from senior Caroline Foskett.

Serrano scored her first goal in a two-on-one situation and slipped a shot past the Black Tornado.

The senior’s second came on a through ball from the left wing, before she shook a defender, spun and scored.

South Eugene has played all three of the SWC’s Rogue Valley schools — South Medford, Grants Pass and now North Medford — within the span of the last eight days.

The Axe have scored four goals in all three of those games, outscoring the opposition by a combined total of 12-4.

North Medford sophomore Alia Villa scored in the 26th minute on a first-touch shot put inside the far post, coming off of a free kick near midfield. The goal trimmed North’s deficit to 2-1, before Foskett rolled in a shot to the left side of the goal, giving the Axe a two-score cushion at halftime.

The Black Tornado (3-3, 1-2 SWC) limited South Eugene to one goal in the final 40 minutes, which was scored on a penalty kick taken by senior Jessie Hawes.

“We fought until the very end and they gave it their all even though they were down,” North Medford head coach Morgan Barry said.

North will get a break in SWC play when it hosts Class 5A Eagle Point on Friday afternoon, before a showdown with rival South Medford on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

SOUTH MEDFORD 3, ROSEBURG 0: At Roseburg, senior midfielder Isabelle Cruz assisted on a goal and scored another to lead South Medford to a convincing road win.

Cruz got the assist on the Panthers’ first goal of the night, dishing it to sophomore forward Brooke Fairbanks, who dribbled through the Roseburg defense and slotted it home in the 35th minute.

The Panthers doubled their lead in the 60th minute, as senior midfielder Bella Bottero dribbled past three would-be defenders after receiving a pass from senior midfielder Alyssa Brown.

Cruz put the exclamation point on the first win away from home for South (3-3, 3-1 SWC) this season, volleying home a pass from fellow captain Drew Hampson.

The Panthers’ back line of Drew Hampson, Tyler Hampson, Natalie Scheuneman, Makayla Peterson and Lexie Clark allowed South to keep Roseburg (2-4-1, 1-2) and its speedy attackers at bay.

CRATER 0, EAGLE POINT 0: At Central Point, Crater played its second scoreless draw in as many Midwestern League games at Dutch Meyer Field, this time against Eagle Point.

Both Crater (0-3-3, 0-1-2) and Eagle Point (2-1-1, 1-0-1) had scoring chances in the final minutes but were unable to convert.

ASHLAND 2, ST. MARY’S 1: At Ashland, senior Sachi Moran scored with five minutes remaining to help Ashland complete the comeback against 3A St. Mary’s at Walter A. Phillips Field.

The Grizzlies (4-0-3) scored the game-winning goal off a free kick from Ini Hammond, sending in a long ball to Moran, who did the rest to put her team ahead in the closing minutes.

St. Mary’s (2-5) took an early 1-0 lead on an Elise Fernandes goal that came off an assist from Ryker Rothfus.

The Grizzlies tied it in the 26th minute when Luna Wilhelm set up Koura Sayre in the penalty box for the easy finish.

St. Mary’s goalkeeper Katelynn Balsiger made eight saves — five of which came in the second half — while Crusader defenders Carmel Ashland and Reese Wright also had strong games. Ashland keeper Zadi Burke finished with four saves.

Boys

SOUTH MEDFORD 2, ROSEBURG 0: South Medford got goals from Eloy Saucedo and Alex Rodriguez with the opening 15 minutes and held on late to secure the SWC win.

Saucedo, a sophomore, sent in a looping free kick from 35 yards out to give the Panthers (4-2, 2-2 SWC) a 1-0 lead within the first four minutes. Rodriguez doubled South’s lead 10 minutes later, dribbling in one-on-one with the Roseburg keeper.

South Medford sophomore Silvano Pineda made four saves in goal — including an impressive second-half double save — as he helped the Panthers record their first shutout of the season.

Andrew Operman had a strong game in the center of the South defense, while Saucedo turned in another strong performance and helped keep the Panthers’ shape in the midfield.

Roseburg fell to 4-2-1 and 1-1-1 in the SWC.

GRANTS PASS 2, SHELDON 0: At Grants Pass, Porter Boersma scored the first goal and later added an assist for Grants Pass in a shutout win over Sheldon.

Boersma, a junior forward, scored less than 10 minutes into the first half on a through ball from junior forward Elijah Leach.

From there, the Cavemen (3-3, 2-2 SWC) were able to protect their one-goal lead for much of the game, then added the match-clinching goal late in the second half when junior Kenley Sheard put a final touch on a ball into net that was crossed into the box from Boersma.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune North Medford's Olivia Boger, right, takes the ball down field past South Eugene's Helen Evans during the first half of Tuesday’s game.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune North Medford's Alia Villa, left, cerebrates her goal with teammate Isabella Driskell during the first half of Tuesday’s game.