Ashland hands Crater first SSC loss

ASHLAND — With a potential shot at a conference title on the line, the Ashland seniors took control Tuesday in a wild 1-0 shootout victory over Crater.

The win puts Ashland and Crater into a tie for first in the Southern Sky Conference with one loss apiece. Crater defeated Ashland 1-0 in overtime in the first meeting.

Keeping the tradition of low-scoring affairs between the two teams alive, Ashland (7-1 SSC) and Crater (7-5-1, 6-1 SSC) were tied 0-0 at the end of regulation and after two 10-minute overtime periods. Similar to the first meeting, Ashland controlled possession for the majority of the game and managed the better scoring chances, including a shot that hit the crossbar, but the Grizzlies put nothing on the board.

This time around, Ashland, behind all of its seniors, managed to outduel the Comets 5-3 in the shootout. The Grizzlies' victory forces a one-game playoff between the two teams next Tuesday at Ashland to determine the No. 1 seed out of the SSC should Crater be able to defeat Eagle Point on Saturday in its regular-season finale. Ashland would win the outright conference championship with an EP victory.

"They were just ecstatic," Ashland coach Eric Wolff said of his team. "Last year we lost both games to them. Finally winning this game, maybe this breaks the spell they've had over us."

Following the overtime periods, six Ashland seniors, including goalkeeper Catie Pratt, stepped up to the challenge of the shootout — fittingly on senior day for the Grizzlies. Amanda Greenstein, Amber Lowey, Emily Warnke-Crary, MacKenzie Hedges and Molly MacGraw all scored. Pratt made a diving save on Crater's second attempt, denying Rikki Deats.

"Before the shootout, I asked who feels comfortable and confident," Wolff said. "All five seniors raised their hands. I could see it on their faces. They were ready for it."

Brittany Weston, who had not played the entire game, scored the first goal in the shootout for Crater. Kayla Burns took the third shot and Cari Burt made the fourth.

"A lot of tears were shed after the game," Crater coach Ed Lindbloom said. "But we just reminded them that they can cry all they want but the tears will be worse if we don't step up against Eagle Point. The focus turned right around."

KLAMATH UNION 5, EAGLE POINT 2 — At Klamath Falls, Elizabeth Albertson assisted on three of Katie Gilbert's four goals as Klamath Union rolled to the Southern Sky victory.

Albertson tied the scored 1-all in the 36th minute on a pass from Veronica Miller, then found Gilbert for the go-ahead score on a corner kick just before the end of the first half.

Gilbert scored inside the first minute of play after the break, then connected in the 57th and 64th minutes on setups from Albertson.

Eagle Point's Erica Rasor scored on a pass from Sarah Lilley in the 10th minute, and Teneea Baker scored in the 53rd minute for the Eagles (6-7, 3-4 SSC).

Southwest Conference

NORTH MEDFORD 3, GRANTS PASS 0 — Senior midfielder Ashley Chambers scored a goal, had an assist and helped North Medford control possession at Hoffbuhr Field.

North's victory, coupled with South Eugene's loss, secures the conference's second-place spot for the Black Tornado (6-5-2, 6-3-1 SWC).

North led 1-0 at halftime on a Madeline Bergen goal in the 16th minute. Bergen ripped a shot from outside the box over the head of the Grants Pass keeper.

Chambers scored unassisted from 20 yards about 81/2 minutes into the second period.

With three minutes remaining, Chambers created an opportunity by dribbling down the left side and crossing the ball to Krystal Toderick, who capitalized with a goal.

North Medford sophomore midfielder McKenna Storey turned in a strong performance and sophomore goalie Kendra McMillen recorded the shutout.

SOUTH MEDFORD 6, ROSEBURG 0 — South Medford kept its playoff hopes alive by defeating Roseburg (0-9 SWC) at Spiegelberg Stadium.

The Panthers received two goals from Kelly Dunlap, and one each from Shanae Coker, Dami Compher, Andrea Green and Becca Vites. Compher also recorded two assists.

The victory puts South (9-5, 5-5 SWC) into a tie with Grants Pass for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Southwest Conference. The two teams split during the season.

SHELDON 1, SOUTH EUGENE 0, OT — At Eugene, Bronte Jorgensen scored in the sixth minute of overtime to help Sheldon win the Southwest Conference and knock off defending league champion South Eugene.

The Irish (7-2-1), who missed the playoffs last season, received an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Annie Mohler.

Jorgensen's goal came on a touch pass from Taylor Housley to erase a scoreless tie.

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