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Raiders blank Mountaineers, inch over .500 in league play

Kendra Madaras-Kelly assisted Megan McArthur’s first-half goal and Southern Oregon got a much-needed 1-0 victory while keeping Eastern Oregon winless in Cascade Conference play Thursday at Raider Stadium.

The Raiders (4-8 overall, 3-2 CCC) monopolized possession, allowing them and keeper Devon Walker to register their first shutout since the opening game of the season without needing a single save.

The Mountaineers (2-5-3, 0-2-2) have been blanked six times.

Their day turned gloomy with 13:57 remaining in the first half when Madaras-Kelly, coming out of a corner set, took a touch and fired a 15-yard laser from left of the box. Though she was hugged by a defender, McArthur was waiting right in front of EOU keeper Jessica Parker and nipped the ball with her head just enough to give it a clear path to the net.

McArthur is tied for the team lead with three goals, and the assist was Madaras-Kelly’s first.

SOU created several opportunities, compiling 15 shots and six on goal. The Mountaineers’ best chance was a counter-attack with 90 seconds left, but their advantage was nullified when Sydney Nelson had her shot blocked before it reached Walker.

The shot was EOU’s only one of the second half. Lexi Olivo had one of three shots in the first half – a liner that hit the crossbar before flying out of bounds.

The Raiders bounced up a spot in the standings to fourth place with the win.

They’ll be tested on Saturday, when College of Idaho is in town to play at 6 p.m. on senior night. The Coyotes upset top-ranked Concordia last week, and on Thursday won 2-1 at Oregon Tech to improve to 3-0-1 in the conference.

A win would give SOU two in a row for the first time this season.