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PREP SOCCER: South nets hard-fought win at Sheldon

EUGENE — Behind five saves from goalkeeper Eve Lynx and Bella Bottero’s two goals Saturday, the South Medford girls soccer team picked up another key Southwest Conference win, 2-0 over Sheldon, heading into the final week of the regular season.

The two teams were held scoreless through the first half, but the Panthers (6-3-2, 6-1-1 SWC) broke the ice within the first 10 minutes of the second half when Brooke Fairbanks fired a cross that Bottero put through.

In the 58th minute, Isabella Cruz played a ball through the Irish back line before Bottero collected it, took a couple dribbles and angled Sheldon’s goalkeeper to find an opening into goal.

But perhaps the most important difference-maker was Lynx, who reacted well to a couple hard-hit shots to keep Sheldon at bay, leading South Medford coach Dave Potter to remark that if it wasn’t for those saves, the Panthers likely would’ve been coming home with a draw instead of a win.

“It was a good shutout — the girls had to work extremely hard,” Potter said. “Sheldon came out and gave us everthing they had.”

South Medford remained one win out of first place behind South Eugene (8-2-1, 7-0-1) but pulled two games ahead of third-place Sheldon (4-7, 4-3) with two games left in the regular season.

NORTH EUGENE 2, EAGLE POINT 0: At Eagle Point, Eagle Point was held scoreless for the fifth straight game and fell to 1-3-1 in Midwestern League play with the home loss.

The Eagles are 2-5-1 overall, while North Eugene remained unbeaten at 8-0-2 overall and 3-0-2 in league play.

OREGON EPISCOPAL 4, ST. MARY’S 0: St. Mary’s got several solid looks on goal by Ryker Rothfus, Sam Gallardo and Elise Fernandes but couldn’t convert in the nonleague match at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

Oregon Episcopal scored in the third minute after a defensive miscue by the Crusaders (4-6) and then built a 2-0 lead six minutes later and never looked back.

The Aardvarks (6-2) tacked on goals in the 69th and 72nd minutes to close out the scoring.

LAKEVIEW 5, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 2: Cascade Christian held a 2-1 halftime lead but Lakeview scored four unanswered goals in the final 40 minutes at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

Cascade Christian (0-9, 0-3 Dist. 5) got both of its goals from senior Katie Erno around the eight and 15-minute marks, and both came courtesy of assists from Bella Williams.

Lakeview improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in league play.

Boys

SOUTH MEDFORD 3, SHELDON 0: South Medford sophomore Cash Cota scored twice in the first half and the host Panthers dominated possession to make light work for goalkeeper Silvano Pineda in the Southwest Conference shutout.

Cota scored his first goal in the 20th minute off an assist by Alex Rodriguez, then score again in the 34th minute after taking in a through ball from Peyton Rodgers.

South Medford (7-4, 4-3 SWC) tacked on an insurance goal in the 48th minute when Rodriguez recovered a clearance ball by Sheldon’s goalkeeper and instantly drove a 40-yard shot over the keeper’s head and into the net.

CRATER 2, NORTH BEND 0: At Central Point, Crater settled into a new formation and enjoyed immediate results, dominating play to secure its second Midwestern League win of the season.

Despite a number of scoring opportunities, play remained scoreless until the 52nd minute when Ben Plankenhorn took the ball into the corner and then sent a crossing pass to Cooper Hopkins, who converted with a strong effort.

The Comets (2-7, 2-4 MWL) doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute when Hopkins collected a kick by the North Bend goalkeeper and ripped a shot into the net.

Crater goalkeeper Diego Estrada supplied two quality saves, including one on a breakaway just 20 minutes into the match, to earn the shutout.

EAGLE POINT 5, NORTH EUGENE 2: At Eagle Point, Edgar Lopez scored a hat trick to lead Eagle Point to its fourth straight victory and a 5-1 standing in the Midwestern League.

Lopez scored in the 13th minute on a 30-yard effort and teammate Gerardo Herrera managed to sneak a shot past the keeper on a tight angle to help the Eagles (5-3) go into the break with a 2-all tie.

Lopez then scored consecutive goals following through balls by Moses Angel in the 45th and 47th minutes to break the game open. Brennen Neyt added a goal in the 50th minute off an assist by Herrera to cap the scoring.

BROOKINGS-HARBOR 4, ST. MARY’S 0: St. Mary’s senior Ean Lawrence was denied on a quality opportunity inside the box and Yejun Choi had another scoring chance by the Crusaders turned away in a shutout loss at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

Brookings-Harbor (8-0) was able to take a 1-0 lead into halftime on a long shot by Austin Dietrich that caught the Crusaders (5-4) off guard.

Miguel Ramos-Radriguez, Jake Beaman and Josh Serna each scored goals in the second half for the Bruins.

Davis Jones came up with 10 saves to help St. Mary’s.

South Medford's Bella Bottero, shown earlier this season against North Medford, scored both Panther goals Saturday against Sheldon. Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune