Hopkins' strike leads SOU past Multnomah
Southern Oregon peppered shots all afternoon at Multnomah keeper Manuel Guillermo-Olivares, but Travis Hopkins had the only one that counted Friday at Raider Stadium.
Playing in front of a home crowd for the first time this season, the Raiders defeated the Lions, 1-0, behind Hopkins' goal in the 50th minute for their third consecutive Cascade Collegiate Conference win.
The junior from Roseburg didn't appear until the last few minutes of the first half, but five minutes into the second he gathered the ball with space on the right sideline. With a pair of defenders tailing, he dribbled nearly half the field at full speed before skipping a shot from about six yards out that got under a sliding Guillermo-Olivares and met the net.
Seven different players have now scored a goal apiece for the Raiders, who improved to 3-5 overall and 3-0 in the CCC going into Sunday's 11 a.m. contest with winless Walla Walla (Wash.).
The Lions (1-5, 0-3) were on the defensive all game as SOU racked up a 20-1 advantage in shots and put seven on goal. SOU keeper Wyatt Zabinksi collected his only save in the first half for the Raiders' second shutout in three games.
During CCC play, the Raiders have only allowed five shots on goal and have yet to allow one in a second half.
Noe Favila recorded the only shot of the afternoon for the Lions.
SOU has won all three meetings between the teams, though Friday's game was the closest of the bunch.
A proficient Northwest (Wash.) Eagles attack sapped the energy out of Mountain Avenue Gym on Friday night and led to a 27-25, 25-20, 25-22 sweep of Southern Oregon, ending the Raiders' winning streak at four matches.
The Eagles (10-5 overall, 4-3 Cascade Conference), pushed by Amanda Waterman's 11 kills and 10 digs and Sarah Warner's 10 kills, collectively hit .257, their highest clip in six matches. The Raiders (6-4, 4-2), meanwhile, posted their lowest attacking average (.129) since the first match of the season. But they had their chances.
The first set was tied 10 times, though SOU had to fight off set point twice to get to 25-all. From there, an Audrey Saelens kill and an Alysanne Van Dyke ace put it away.
The momentum flipped in a hurry in the second set as the Raiders stormed out to a 10-2 lead after an 8-0 run, during which Makayla Hoyt put down four of her team-high eight kills. But the Eagles took the next seven points, and down 20-19 they took the final six – four of which were courtesy of SOU attacking errors, three of which were unforced.
SOU led again in the third, 15-13, but Northwest's 8-2 spurt from that point put the Eagles in control again. Three kills from Warner, a freshman outside hitter, keyed the run.
The Raiders had won 41 of 42 matches overall against the Eagles leading up to last year, but have dropped each of the last three meetings.
Elliott Cook, Dani Johnson and Taylor Ristvedt recorded seven kills apiece for SOU, and Ashlyn Flynn had 18 digs.
Craig Howard's influence lives on at Southern Oregon University, and this week a memorial plaque was introduced to honor his memory at Raider Stadium.
Howard Rock West arrived Wednesday, and will sit outside the Raider locker room at the south end of the stadium. Fans can view it at today's 1 p.m. game against Carroll, which will be SOU's first at home since Howard passed away in January. A moment of silence will be observed before kickoff.
"Coach Howard created a culture and legacy for our football program built around the values of character, strength and honor," SOU Athletic Director Matt Sayre said. "He had a great impact on the lives of so many young men here at SOU. We will always love, honor and respect him for that."
Howard, a product of Grants Pass, took over a down-on-its-luck program in 2011 and transformed it into a national champion by 2014. His career record of 50-23 with the Raiders gives him the top winning percentage (.685) in school history.
"Coach Howard's legacy will be forever remembered with this memorial," said his successor, Charlie Hall. "The impact he had on his players and this community will last a lifetime. Because of Coach Howard, there are better men, teachers, fathers, coaches and people in the world today."