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PREP ROUNDUP: St. Mary’s slips past Cascade Christian

It took a little bit of time for the St. Mary’s girls soccer team to figure things out Thursday afternoon, but once they did, they found themselves on solid footing.

Emma Meyer and Lucy Maxwell scored late in each half and the St. Mary’s defense was able to limit Cascade Christian’s scoring chances in the Crusaders’ 2-0 win over their crosstown rival at Lithia & Driveway Fields.

“It’s the best game we’ve played this season, so I’m feeling pretty good about it,” said St. Mary’s head coach Martin Nelson. “Cascade played a good game, too, but one of their main players hurt her knee and I thought that hurt them. It sucks to see because I want to see a really good Cascade team. Even though it’s a rivalry between us and Cascade, I have the greatest respect for (Challengers head coach Jonathan Hillis) and I’m glad he’s coaching there.”

The Crusaders (2-3-1, 2-2-1 District 4) got on the board in the 34th minute when Gabriella Cooper played a ball across the 18-yard box to Meyer, who was able to get a shot off with her left foot to chip it over the keeper for a 1-0 lead.

While St. Mary’s saw an increase in possession in the second half, the second goal didn’t come until there were seven minutes remaining. Maxwell was able to jump on the rebound after Isabella Mussio’s shot was initially deflected by the Challengers (2-4, 2-3) and give the Crusaders a 2-0 cushion.

St. Mary’s keeper Katelynn Balsiger made seven saves as the Crusaders recorded their second straight shutout following Monday’s scoreless tie with Brookings-Harbor.

The St. Mary’s backline of Atziri Cortez, Carmel Ashland, Lilana Castillo and Lily DeMarinis — and later Emma Castillo — all had strong performances, said Nelson.

“It was probably our best game with possession-wise,” added Nelson, “and we probably figured it out about midway through the first half. They did a really good job and made Cascade work for it.”

MAZAMA 4, PHOENIX 1: At Klamath Falls, Phoenix sophomore Carsyn Gallegos converted a penalty kick in the 45th minute but the Pirates were unable to generate many more offensive opportunities in the Skyline Conference opener.

Phoenix (2-4, 0-1 Skyline) fell behind 3-0 at halftime against Mazama (1-3, 1-0).

Boys Soccer

EAGLE POINT 1, CENTRAL 0: At Independence, Eagle Point junior Moses Angel scored on an open play from about 30 yards out for the lone goal of the nonconference affair.

The Eagles (3-2) registered a clean sheet thanks to a split effort in goal, with Angel Cervantes making two saves in the first half and Trenton Silani halting a pair of close chances by Central (0-4-1) in the second half.

PHOENIX 8, MAZAMA 0: At Phoenix, seniors Jenner Selden and Daniel Palomino combined for five goals as Phoenix built an early advantage and ultimately wrapped the match up in the 54th minute by virtue of the mercy rule at P-T Rising Field.

Selden scored three goals and Palomino had two in the Skyline Conference opener and first win this season for the Pirates (1-4-1, 1-0 Skyline) after a daunting preseason schedule.

Isai Pinon, Tanner Norris and Juan Vargas also scored for Phoenix, which led 3-0 after 13 minutes and 6-0 by halftime over the Vikings (0-4, 0-1).

ST. MARY’S 4, BROOKINGS-HARBOR 0: At Brookings, St. Mary’s freshman Jose Mondesi scored in the first minute of play and the Crusaders tacked on three goals in the second half to remain unbeaten in 3A/2A/1A District 5 play.

Timofii Sybirtsev gave the Crusaders (4-1, 4-0 Dist. 5) some cushion with his goal in the 55th minute off an assist by Nathan Lemley. St. Mary’s added another goal in the 70th minute when Lemley found Leandro Cronk for a goal.

Cronk then capped the scoring with another goal off passes from Mondesi and Oliver Ford.

Davis Jones recorded the shutout in goal against the Bruins (1-4, 1-3).

Cross-country

GLIDE INVITATIONAL: At Glide, St. Mary’s senior Saniyah Ayala cruised to victory in the 5,000-meter girls race in a time of 20 minutes, 22 seconds.

Crusaders teammate Bella Fortino finished 18th for the only other top-20 showing for St. Mary’s, which scored 54 points to finish third behind Glide (26) and Harrisburg (44).

Natalie Hung (27:11), Emily Bowdoin (27:22) and Annabelle Mayerle (27:45) grouped together in spot Nos. 21-23, respectively, for St. Mary’s.

In the boys race, St. Mary’s sophomore Vincent Savage finished fourth in 18:44, with teammates Will Doss (eighth, 19:39) and Cody Arnold (ninth, 19:48) also placing among the top 10. Yuichi Aoki placed 20th (20:47).

Harrisburg’s Luke Cheek won the boys race in 18:14 to help his team to the team title as well with 31 points. St. Mary’s was runner-up with 57 points.