Grizzlies clinch SSC title, 3-0

CENTRAL POINT — The Ashland boys soccer team put it all together Tuesday in a 3-0 victory over Crater at Dutch Meyer Stadium.

The victory in the Grizzlies' regular-season finale clinched the Southern Sky Conference championship, and with the postseason approaching, the performance couldn't have come at a better time.

"We played our game today," said Ashland coach Eisa Tiaa Tutu. "I was happy with our patience. I can't ask for more out of them."

Crater coach Chris Gallegos went even further in praise of the Grizzlies (7-1 SSC).

"We ran into a buzz saw today," Gallegos said. "They're a very good team. We knew we had a fight in front of us and Ashland was very good today."

Ashland picked up first-half goals from Derek Owens-Oas and Kelby Kemske to take a 2-0 advantage into intermission. Nate Roupp tacked on a goal late in regulation.

Gallegos estimated his team got off only four shots on goal against the Grizzlies.

"Even when we had it, things just weren't coming off clean for us tonight," Gallegos said. "But I'm proud of my boys. They played their hearts out."

The Comets (4-3 SSC) trail second-place Klamath Union by one game in the loss column with one game to play. Crater is assured at least a third-place finish in the SSC, which will send the top three teams to the Class 5A state playoffs.

Crater goes to Eagle Point on Saturday to close out the regular season, while Ashland will host a second-round playoff game on Nov. 6.

KLAMATH UNION 4, EAGLE POINT 1 — At Klamath Falls, Klamath Union was able to dominate the front line and finish at the net as the Pelicans swooped past Eagle Point for a Southern Sky Conference victory.

Ethan Olsen and Luis Ortega each had goals to give KU a 2-0 advantage at intermission.

Eagle Point missed several scoring opportunities in front of the goal and was outshot 23-12.

The only goal for the Eagles (3-9, 2-4 SSC) came in the 66th minute when Paco Pulido scored on a pass from his brother Juan Pulido.

Southwest Conference

NORTH MEDFORD 2, GRANTS PASS 1 — At Grants Pass, North Medford rallied for two goals in the second half at Mel Ingram Field to finish the conference season in a tie for second place.

The Black Tornado (8-4-2, 6-3-1 SWC) tied Roseburg for runner-up in the SWC, but the Indians have the tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed in the state playoffs. North will open on the road Nov. 3 against the PIL's No. 3 team.

Senior captain Dallas Bille scored on a penalty kick in the second minute to give the Cavemen (3-9-1, 2-8 SWC) the early lead.

The Black Tornado tied the game 13 minutes into the second half when John Clarke headed in Tony Barbieri's corner kick.

Joe Lopez finished off a combination of passes with Juan Ibarra for the game-winner in the 61st minute.

ROSEBURG 2, SOUTH MEDFORD 1 — At Roseburg, Brady Sheriff netted both Roseburg goals as the Indians secured second place in the Southwest Conference.

Because North Medford beat Grants Pass, the Panthers (6-7-1, 6-4 SWC) settled for fourth place in the SWC to advance into the playoffs.

During a frenzy for the ball inside the box at the 29-minute mark, a foul was called on the Panthers to set up Sheriff's game-tying goal on a penalty kick.

Sheriff later put the Indians out in front in the 57th minute on a low-flying shot that connected on the left side of the net. The 18-yard goal was assisted by Layton Yuma.

Brian Avila scored South Medford's goal from 10 yards out on a lead-pass from Beto Cortez in the ninth minute.

Sophomore center midfielder Nathan Diaz also stood out for the Panthers.

SOUTH EUGENE 2, SHELDON 0 — At Eugene, Apolinar Montero-Sanchez assisted on both South Eugene goals while keepers Evan Turner and Joe Connolly combined to blank Sheldon to secure the Southwest Conference title.

Colton Hubler scored in the 15th minute and was complemented by an insurance goal in the 68th minute by Shane Lundberg for the Axemen (9-1 SWC).

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