Crater girls win first outright league title

CENTRAL POINT — It wasn't the way Crater coach Ed Lindbloom wanted to win, perhaps, but a win is a win — and a championship is a championship.

Crater, which was outplayed by rival Ashland through most of regulation, said Lindbloom, nevertheless survived a scoreless overtime and won in a shootout, 2-1.

The victory gave the Comets their first outright conference title in girls soccer, said Lindbloom. They had tied for the Southern Sky Conference crown each of the past two years.

In the shootout, Crater went first and made all five of its penalty kicks, the deciding one coming off the foot of sweeper Amber Parker. She hit a low bullet to the right of the Ashland goalie.

The Grizzlies' final attempt then went over the top bar.

"It took them a minute to realize the game was over," Lindbloom said of his team, which is 7-0 in SSC play with one game remaining at Eagle Point Saturday.

Ashland completed its SSC slate with a 6-2 mark. Both teams advance to the postseason and begin state play Nov. 4.

Lindbloom didn't like his team's chance of prevailing as the contest unfolded.

"Ashland outplayed us the entire game," he said. "We played terribly. They played possession ball and wanted it more than we did."

The Grizzlies got on the board first in the 44th minute, when Riley Smith scored on a penalty kick for a hand ball in the box.

Crater (9-3-2 overall) didn't square it until the 76th minute. A shot by Taylor Burns caromed off the keeper, and Taylor McGee followed with the goal.

"We finally started playing with energy for the first time in the last seven or eight minutes," said Lindbloom.

Each team had a couple of opportunities to score in the 20 overtime minutes but couldn't convert.

"It got a little more physical," said Lindbloom. "The overtime was more evenly matched between the two teams. It wasn't Ashland dominating us as much as they had in regulation."

Crater has given up only three goals in SSC games. The other two were an own goal and a PK.

The defense was led by Parker, central outside defender Cari Burt and Leona Steele, whose job it was to mark Grizzly standout Chloe Deckwar.

EAGLE POINT 1, KLAMATH UNION 0 — At Eagle Point, Erica Rasor scored in the 56th minute on an assist from Marissa O'Connor in the Southern Sky Conference match.

O'Connor passed the ball from the middle of the field to Rasor on the left side and Rasor's shot from 20 yards out went into the upper right corner. Eagle Point (4-7-2, 2-5 SSC) had 17 shots to just four for KU (3-10, 0-7).

Ellen Radcliffe was strong in the middle for Eagle Point, which currently sits in fourth and is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with just three spots available.

District 6 Girls

HIDDEN VALLEY 2, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 1, OT — At Murphy, with 15 seconds remaining in overtime, Hidden Valley's Ariana Fleishman scored the winning goal to pin Cascade Christian with a third straight loss in an extra-time contest.

Fleishman gathered a loose ball and booted it home in the 99th minute after a 1-all stalemate took the match into overtime.

Matti Lindgren's goal in the 27th minute for the Mustangs was matched two minutes later by the Challengers' (see correction note below) Carly Smith, who kicked in a dropped ball by the goalkeeper after a shot by teammate Ashley Hyde.

Jenna George collected nine saves for the Challengers (3-9, 2-8 Dist. 6), who also received a solid effort from Lindsey Blodgett at sweeper.

HENLEY 3, ST. MARY'S 1 — At Klamath Falls, senior forward Melanie Johnson scored twice as Henley overcame an early deficit against District 6-leading St. Mary's.

The Crusaders (10-2, 8-2 Dist. 6) can clinch the league title with victories against Cascade Christian and Rogue River in their final two games.

Anna Thorndike scored in the 11th minute for St. Mary's when she put in a rebound off a hard shot by Sarah Seus.

St. Mary's freshman Abby Steinsiek and sophomore Lindsay Barnum did a good job filling in as central defenders for senior captain Nikki Steinsiek, who was lost for the season last Tuesday with an ACL injury.

NORTH VALLEY 4, ROGUE RIVER 0 — At Merlin, North Valley got goals from four players in the District 6 triumph.

Taylor Vandehey tallied in the fifth minute and Megan Knitter in the 19th as the Knights (8-5, 7-4 Dist. 6) took a 2-0 halftime lead. Darian Simpson, with an assist from Brooke Fray, and Trisha Durham scored in the second half.

Three goalies combined for the shutout.

Southern Sky Boys

KLAMATH UNION 6, EAGLE POINT 0 — At Klamath Falls, Chris Rodriguez scored one goal and assisted four others as Klamath Union won the battle for third place in the Southern Sky Conference.

The Pelicans (7-5-1, 3-4 SSC) received two goals and an assist from Jesse Anocibar, an assist and goal from David Wendt and one goal each from Anthony Oksen and Ted Wogan.

Juan Pulido, who switched from forward to defense in the second half, played well for Eagle Point (6-5-2, 2-5 SSC). The Eagles conclude the season Saturday at Crater, which has secured one of the conference's two playoff spots with Ashland.

Skyline Boys

HENLEY 10, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0 — At Cave Junction, Sean Demaris and Jordan Rupp had two goals apiece for Henley.

The Hornets (12-2-1, 7-1 Skyline) led 7-0 at halftime, and Matt Kelley contributed one goal and four assists.

ROGUE RIVER 3, GLIDE 0 — At Rogue River, Shaq Poston assisted Justin Brown for the lone score of the first half, and Poston scored nine minutes into the second half on an unassisted breakaway to help Rogue River to the District 3 victory.

The Chieftains (4-8 Dist. 3) outshot Glide (2-8-2 Dist. 3) 12-8 and also received a late goal by Tony Vaccher to secure fifth place in the conference.

Sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Donahue recorded his first shutout of the season.

District 3 Boys

ST. MARY'S 6, GOLD BEACH 0 — At Gold Beach, Lou Arne scored twice and goalkeeper Mike Brimble recorded his fourth consecutive shutout for St. Mary's.

Arne scored in the 34th and 53rd minutes for the Crusaders, who finished first in District 3 with an 11-1 league record. St. Mary's is 11-3 overall.

It was the seventh shutout of the season for Brimble. He made two stops on the day.

Also for the Crusaders, Keenan Grant and Reid Arne both scored a goal and tallied an assist.

Correction: The Cascade Christian mascot was misidentified in the original version of this story. This version has been corrected.

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