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PREP SOCCER: Phoenix comes up just short in PKs

PHOENIX — One hundred minutes of nip-and-tuck scoreless action between the Phoenix and North Marion boys soccer teams boiled down to about 10 nervous minutes Saturday at P-T Rising Stadium.

Finding themselves in a best-of-five penalty kick situation to determine which team would advance into the Class 4A state semifinals next week, the anxious third-seeded Pirates couldn’t have asked for a better start in their scenario.

The finish, however, did not carry that same punch.

Phoenix goalkeeper Tucker Speaks blocked the first shot of the PK period and his teammates calmly responded with three straight goals to keep the Pirates in perfect order until North Marion’s goalkeeper stopped the next two shots to allow the Huskies to escape with a 1-0 triumph built on a 4-3 edge in penalty kicks.

Speaks came up with a fiery stop on the initial shot by Leo Mercado, and then things settled into typical form with the shooters taking advantage.

Phoenix (13-3) tallied consecutive shots into the net by Sergio Alegria, Daniel Palomino and Victor Martinez, while North Marion (11-2-3) found the net with shots by Josue Lomeli Marin, Alexander Perez and Jose Jara to tie it at 3-all, but with Phoenix still at the advantage.

On the ensuing shot, Caden Gallegos’ effort didn’t fool the sixth-seeded Huskies keeper and he was able to turn aside the mid-goal shot to the right.

After Alex Farrens put the Huskies up 4-3 on his turn, Jorge Mejia was tasked with sending the PK period into extra shooters but saw his effort to the right side of the post also turned away.

CORVALLIS 3, ASHLAND 0: At Corvallis, Ashland’s usually potent offense was unable to capitalize in the quarterfinals of the 5A state playoffs against third-seeded Corvallis, which has posted 10 wins and one tie in its last 11 matches.

The Grizzlies (9-4-2) trailed only 1-0 at intermission but a pair of second-half efforts from the Spartans (11-3-2) sealed the victory.

Girls Soccer

CATLIN GABEL 5, ST. MARY’S 0: At Portland, St. Mary’s senior Abby Kirkpatrick just missed a chance to tie the match after Catlin Gabel’s Charlotta Long opened the scoring in the ninth minute and the Eagles broke the game open with four second-half goals to win in the Class 3A/2A/1A quarterfinals.

Catlin Gabel (12-2-1) will play Riverdale in Tuesday’s semifinals.

Beyond Kirkpatrick’s effort, which resulted in a corner kick that was also turned away, the Crusaders (7-7) saw Brennan Gangnes and Ryker Rothfus see good opportunities to score fall away.

Katelynn Balsiger had 14 saves for St. Mary’s.