PREP SOCCER: Jenner Seldon’s 5 goals pace Phoenix boys
PHOENIX — Phoenix forward Jenner Seldon’s role usually involves bringing in energy when his team needs it.
But on Thursday night, the Pirates’ junior got the chance to shine — and boy did he ever.
Seldon, filling in for Victor Martinez, scored a first-half hat trick and five goals in total to lead Phoenix to a 7-0 win over Mazama in the Skyline Conference opener for both teams.
“He’s just one of those kids that just gives it everything he’s got every minute of the game — and that’s hard to coach,” Phoenix head coach Chris Gallegos said of Seldon, who is in his first season at the varsity level. “He just goes for it everywhere and hustles, and a lot of his goals are just off of hustle.”
Phoenix (5-0, 1-0), ranked fifth in the most recent 4A coaches’ poll, took a 1-0 lead in the third minute on a goal from senior midfielder Jorge Mejia.
That’s when Seldon started his big night.
Seldon doubled the Pirates’ lead in the 25th minute, then scored his second goal five minutes later on an assist from senior Bryan Ramos.
He completed his first-half hat trick just a few seconds before the halftime whistle blew, getting a pass from junior midfielder Adolfo Camacho and putting Phoenix ahead 4-0.
After Mejia recorded his second goal of the game on an assist from senior defender Sergio Alegria, Seldon scored two goals in quick fashion to cap off his big night.
Seldon’s fifth goal was arguably the best of the bunch, going up for a scissor kick after the ball popped out to him.
“He’s had a great season,” Gallegos said. “Every time I put him in there he steps up and seems to finish well. He knows that the time he has, he’s going to give it everything he’s got — and it shows every single time he steps out on the field.”
The Phoenix defense recorded its second shutout in as many games, as the Pirates were able to shake off a slow start and finish the game strong.
“I would just say, we possessed the ball most of the game, but it was probably more of the second half is when we really started hustling and running around,” Gallegos said. “We only scored three goals in the second half, but we really started possessing, really working great passing situation, really making things happen and just finding feet. It really started picking up for us, which was good.”
GRANTS PASS 3, MOUNTAIN VIEW 0: At Grants Pass, the Grants Pass attack broke out with three second-half goals after a scoreless opening 40 minutes to get the nonleague win.
Freshman midfielder Tristen Gembala scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for Grants Pass (2-2) six minutes into the second half, controlling the ball after a shot hit off the crossbar. The Cavemen doubled their lead 15 minutes later, as junior Elijah Leach bent a shot from the just outside of the box on the left wing in at the far post.
Fellow junior Porter Boersma put Grants Pass ahead 3-0 with eight minutes to go on a left-footed strike from 20 yards out.
Mountain View fell to 3-3-1 with the loss.
MAZAMA 2, PHOENIX 1: At Klamath Falls, Mazama broke a 1-1 tie in the 56th minute when Phoenix allowed an own goal.
In each team’s first Skyline Conference game, Mazama (2-0-1, 1-0) took a quick 1-0 lead in the second minute with a goal from senior Kennedy Lease.
Phoenix (2-2, 0-1) countered in the 47th minute as junior Sofia Rodriguez scored an unassisted goal.
Pirates junior goalkeeper Maria Pyeatt grabbed 11 saves on Mazama’s 13 shots on goal. Phoenix recorded 11 shots on goal.