Pirates' defense stymies Warriors

TALENT — Despite having played five matches in 10 days — four on the road — the Phoenix boys soccer squad wasn't the team with tired feet after Monday's game at Colver Field.

The Pirates' defensive trio of Geoff Jensen, Luis Rocha and Andy Buell limited Philomath to just two nonthreatening shots on goal, helping Phoenix capture a 3-0 nonconference victory.

"They literally closed them down and jammed them," said Pirates coach Dennis Flenner on his defense. "By the time it was 1-0, (the Warriors) were already tired from trying to work past our defenders. We really kept them from squeezing the trigger. When you can do that, it's a good thing."

Although the Pirates (6-2) controlled possession and field position in the first half, they had no goals to show for it.

But Ryo Nishimura bailed the Pirates out with a penalty kick goal four minutes into the second half.

At the 59-minute mark, Carlos Mena set up Jose Jalisco's 10-yard shot, which skipped below the reach of Philomath's goalkeeper and found the inside of the near post, giving the Pirates a 2-0 edge.

Five minutes later, Miguel Diaz padded Phoenix's lead with a goal from 18 yards out on an assist from Chris Solis.

Gresham Prehn earned the shutout in goal but only needed to field two weakly hit shot attempts.

The Pirates, who will have eight days to rest until their showdown with Skyline power Hidden Valley next Tuesday, held the corner-kick edge, 7-3, and outshot the Warriors, 12-2.

"The defense did a real good job keeping them from our goal," said Flenner. "We gave them a little southern Pirate hospitality today."

Water Polo

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT — At Ashland, Nilson Gibson tallied four goals for the Medford girls water polo team, which was able to slip past Sheldon, 9-8, in the Southern Conference Tournament at Southern Oregon University pool on Saturday.

Melissa Ghiglieri added three goals and goalie Hannah Gilder had eight blocks for Medford.

Ashland had no problem with Sheldon in its 19-1 romp. Natalie Del Carlo paced Ashland with six goals and Xenia Contreras chipped in five.

Ashland goalie Carlee Santee made six blocks and tossed in a goal at the final buzzer.

On the boys side, Sheldon got the best of Medford in an 8-5 overtime match. Robert Denton scored four of Medford's goals, and Michael Hill compiled 20 blocks at goalie.

The Ashland boys eased past Sheldon, 18-11, led by Robin Haase's seven goals. Lucas Opgenorth added three goals and goalie Willis Plummer notched six blocks for Ashland.

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