ASHLAND — Playing as an NAIA Top 25 team for the first time, Southern Oregon looked every bit the part in a 5-0 win against Northwest (Wash.) on Friday at Raider Stadium.
The 24th-ranked Raiders (11-2-1 overall, 8-0-1 Cascade Conference) took the wind out of the Eagles’ sails early and poured on four goals in the first half with some of their prettiest plays of the season. After Esteban Castaneda stepped in front of a ball keeper Agazi Birkner intended to clear and kicked it in from 15 yards out just 72 seconds into the match, the rout was on.
Carlos Magana’s sixth goal of the season, in the 23rd minute, was an awkward-angled bicycle kick just off end the line from left of the goal, lined inside the right post. Ten minutes later, Luis Aguilar’s neatly-placed corner kick set up a Zak Woolley header. And three minutes after that, Woolley sent a throw-in from midfield through the defense for Brendan Allen to retrieve in space, and Allen did the rest for his sixth goal.
Gonzalo Garcia added the final score in the 66th minute, his first of the year, off another Aguilar corner that set up a long strike near the sideline.
The Eagles fell to 3-5-3 and 2-4-2.
During the Raiders’ team-record 12-game unbeaten streak, they’ve won 11 times and turned in nine clean sheets. In the latest, keeper Wyatt Zabinski didn’t need to make a single save as SOU out-shot Northwest by a 19-3 margin.
Elsewhere in the CCC, No. 15 Corban (7-0-1 CCC) kept pace with the Raiders by scoring a critical 2-0 win at No. 11 Rocky Mountain (6-2 CCC), which dropped seven points back of SOU.
The Raiders will be home again at 5 p.m. Saturday to face Evergreen (7-2-2, 4-2-2).
SOUTHERN OREGON 1, NORTHWEST 1: At Ashland, the Misty Martinez show rolled on Friday night for Southern Oregon with her most dramatic goal yet, an equalizer with less than two minutes to play that saved a 1-1 draw at Raider Stadium.
Martinez, a sophomore forward, became the third player in team history to tally in five straight games with 87 seconds to spare for the Raiders in regulation. Mia Volpatti lofted a pass over the defense that found Martinez from straight on, and she turned a rocketed a 15-yard shot past diving keeper Kat Sanchez inside the left post.
It was her seventh goal, all in Cascade Conference play. Of those, four have stood as game-winners and two have salvaged 1-1 draws.
Volpatti’s assist was her team-leading fifth of the year.
The Raiders went to 7-2-3 overall and 5-1-2 in the CCC. The Eagles went to 5-6-2 and 4-1-2.
Northwest didn’t take the lead until the 62nd minute, when Katie Michkiosky — the CCC’s top scorer — headed in her 12th goal of the season courtesy of a Jaclyn Metz corner kick.
In overtime, Northwest produced five shots that required four Kailey Lemon saves. The Raiders, who played a person down after Trinity Rhoades was sent off with eight minutes to play in the final session, didn’t register any shots after regulation but finished with a 13-12 advantage.